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Pediatricians warn pandemic may increase drowning risks this summer

The AAP wants parents to take the following steps to reduce the risk of childhood drowning.

Pediatricians warn pandemic may increase drowning risks this summer

Many parents are budgeting cautiously right now due to the pandemic-induced recession but people are still buying pools. From $30 inflatable pools on Amazon to big backyard swim spas, pool sales are up, and the American Academy of Pediatrics wants to make sure water safety awareness goes up, too.

The AAP is concerned that with so many families playing in private pools this summer, child drownings could rise if people are not aware of the risks that pools (even the small inflatable or plastic ones) can present to young children. In fact, in some parts of Florida child drownings are up 100% over this time last year.

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As Dr. Ben Hoffman, chair of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence & Poison Prevention explains, "Drowning is the single leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4, and it's one of the top causes of death for teens."

Most drownings of preschoolers happen in pools and 69% of kids who drown were not meant to be swimming when they did.

That's why the AAP is especially worried this summer. Parents aren't just putting in backyard pools, but they are also often trying to work from home—it's easy to imagine a child heading out to the pool unnoticed while mom or dad is busy on a work call. While the AAP does say children as young as 1 year old can benefit from swimming lessons, those aren't available in many communities right now, and even if they were, experts recommend a multifaceted approach to keep kids safe.

When it comes to water play (in a pool, lake, ocean, river or bathtub) constant adult supervision is key, so having the kids splash around while you check email is not a safe plan. Kids need to be within reach of an adult while in the water and parents who are putting in pools need to install pool barriers and take CPR training.

In addition to swimming lessons, the AAP wants parents to take the following steps to reduce the risk of childhood drowning:

  • Everyone in the household, kids and adults, should learn how to swim if there is a pool on the property.
  • Get a 4 foot, 4-sided, isolation fence that separates the pool from the house and the rest of the yard with a self-closing, self- latching gate." The CDC recommends additional barriers such as automatic door locks and alarms to prevent access or alert you if someone enters the pool area.
  • Wading pools, bathtubs and buckets should be emptied right after use.
According to the AAP, parents need to ensure "close, constant, attentive supervision around water [and assign] an adult 'water watcher,' who should not be distracted by work, socializing, or chores."

Staying home and enjoying the pool can be a safe and fun way to stay active during the pandemic and as long as families are aware of the safety rules we can lower the risks this summer.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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