Swim Safety Tips

Swim Safety Tips

Swimming is a fantastic form of exercise and a major component of many spring break trips and summer break fun. But parents should remember that swimming also comes with risk. Follow these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics to protecting children from drowning.

Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment; close supervision by a responsible adult is the best way to prevent drowning in children. Designate a “water watcher” who is not distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol to watch children in and near the water.

Whenever inexperienced swimmers are in or around water, an adult – preferably one who knows how to swim and perform CPR – should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”

Install a fence at least 4 feet high around all four sides of the pool. The fence should not have openings or protrusions that a young child could use to get over, under, or through.

The safest fence is one that surrounds all 4 sides of the pool and completely separates the pool from the house and yard. If the house serves as the fourth side of the fence, install an alarm on the exit door to the yard and the pool. For additional protection, install window guards on windows facing the pool. Drowning victims have also used pet doors to gain access to pools. Keep all of your barriers and alarms in good repair with fresh batteries.

Make sure pool gates open out from the pool, and self-close and self-latch at a height children can’t reach. Consider alarms on the gate to alert you when someone opens the gate. Consider surface wave or underwater alarms as an added layer of protection.

Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd’s hook ­– a long pole with a hook on the end — and life preserver) and a portable telephone near the pool. Choose a shepherd’s hook and other rescue equipment made of fiberglass or other materials that do not conduct electricity.

Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties.” They are not a substitute for approved life jackets and can give children and parents a false sense of security.

Children over age 1 may be at a lower risk of drowning if they have had some formal swimming instruction. However, there is no evidence that swimming lessons or water survival skills courses can prevent drowning in babies younger than 1 year of age.

Everyone should learn to swim – Participation in formal swim lessons can reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning death by 88%

The decision to enroll a child over age one in swimming lessons should be made by the parent based on the child’s developmental readiness and exposure to water, but swim programs should never be seen as “drown proofing” a child of any age.

Avoid entrapment: Suction from pool and spa drains can trap a swimmer underwater. Do not use a pool or spa if there are broken or missing drain covers.  Ask your pool operator if your pool or spa’s drains are compliant with the Pool and Spa Safety Act. If you have a swimming pool or spa, ask your pool service representative to update your drains and other suction fitting with anti-entrapment drain covers and other devices or systems. See PoolSafely.gov for more information on the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.

Large, inflatable, above-ground pools have become increasingly popular for backyard use. Children may fall in if they lean against the soft side of an inflatable pool. Although such pools are often exempt from local pool fencing requirements, it is essential that they be surrounded by an appropriate fence just as a permanent pool would be so that children cannot gain unsupervised access.

If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first.

Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors.

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Frozen Banana Popsicles

frozen-banana-popsiclesFrozen bananas on a stick dipped in chocolate – an easy, fun summer treat for the kids and grown-ups too!

These are so easy to make and use only 4 ingredients. Sprinkle them with red, white and blue jimmies for the Fourth of July, or use colored sprinkles, crushed walnuts, peanuts, or whatever you like! So fun, you can even get the kids involved!


  • 1 ripe banana
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • colored sprinkles (optional)

You will also need 4 Popsicle sticks


  1. Cut the banana in half lengthwise, then in half to make four quarters.
  2. Insert popsicle sticks into bananas and freeze on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.
  3. When the bananas are frozen, fill a coffee mug with chocolate.
  4. Melt chocolate in the microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring until the chocolate is melted and soft.
  5. Dip the bananas one at a time into the chocolate, scraping off the excess chocolate from the back of the banana, and place it on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
  6. Quickly add the sprinkles or toppings on the rounded side before the chocolate hardens (you have to work quickly here).
  7. Place on wax paper and return to the freezer until frozen and ready to eat.
  8. Eat frozen and enjoy!! Note: Adding a little oil to the chocolate helps thin the chocolate and therefore you will use less on each Popsicle. You will need enough chocolate to dip the bananas, but you will be left with extra chocolate in the end (chocolate covered strawberries anyone?)

Nutritional Information (per serving) Serves 4.

Recipe is from Skinnytaste

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Firework Safety Tips

fireworks safety

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) continues to urge families NOT to buy fireworks for their own or their children’s use, as thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured each year while using consumer fireworks.

Keep your family safe this Fourth of July by following these safety tips for fireworks:

Fireworks can result in severe burns, blindness, scars and even death.
Did you know sparklers can reach up to reach temperatures above 1000°.
Families should attend community fireworks displays run by professionals rather than using fireworks at home.

Get more info at healthychildren.org.

Protect yourself: Firework safety

Have a fun and safe Fourth of July!

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Why Do You Love PCMC – Earnest Burke

Earnest-BurkeMr. Earnest Burke, a longtime supporter and friend of PCMC shares his WHY.

He supports the work PCMC is doing to provide quality medical care to children because Children Matter.

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Meet Veronica Teran

meet veronica-teranPlano Children’s Medical Clinic is pleased to announce that Veronica Teran, PNP has joined our provider team.  Ms. Teran brings with her a tremendous passion for health education and a wealth of experience providing medical care.  Ms. Teran tells us this about relating to her patients, “I can empathize with my patients. I know where they are because I was there myself. As a child, my parents did not speak English very well.”

You see, once upon a time, Ms. Teran grew up in a family that was primarily Spanish speaking and they often found it difficult to access necessary medical care.  From very early on she has always wanted to work with children so she began her career in nursing. She went on to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner because of her desire to do so much more to help families. “I love seeing the children smile and knowing that I am a part of their growth. I believe one of the most important roles I play is educating parents about the WHY behind their child’s health.”

You will find that Ms. Teran has a fun and warm bedside manner and your children will enjoy coming in for their medical appointments. What does she say to each of her patients? “Eating breakfast is important and don’t forget about those veggies!”

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