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Stay Safe in the Water with Tips from Atrium Health Navicent

As many families are planning pool parties and trips to the beach, Atrium Health Navicent encourages the community to exercise caution when cooling off in pools and natural bodies of water such as rivers, lakes and the ocean to reduce drowning risk.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 5 to 14. More children ages 1 to 4 die from drowning than any other cause of death. In the United States, 11 children die every day as a result of drowning, and even if a child doesn’t die from drowning, it can lead to brain damage and other long-term disabilities.

The most important thing parents can do to help prevent drowning is to teach children how to swim. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children ages 12 months and older learn the basics of swimming (floating and moving through the water) through swimming lessons.

Atrium Health Navicent offers swim lessons for children ages 4 and older, and adults at Atrium Health Navicent Wellness Center, 3797 Northside Drive in Macon. Lessons can help develop beginner level skills or improve advanced level skills.

The private lessons take place at The Wellness Center’s heated indoor pool and cost $160 for five 30-minute sessions.

For questions or to sign up, email or call 478-477-2300.

“Swimming is good fun and good for your overall health, but you have to be safe. If your child is going to be near a body of water this summer, sign them up for swimming lessons. You never know when the knowledge of how to swim could save your child’s life, or the life of someone else,” said Dr. Edward Clark, medical director for Atrium Health Levine Children’s Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital and Atrium Health Navicent Children’s Care Downtown Macon. “If a child does take in water, be sure to seek prompt medical attention.”

In addition to helping children learn how to swim, here are other ways that parents and others in the community can help prevent drowning:

Learn life-saving skills: Adults and older children should know how to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

Fence off swimming pools and other bodies of water near homes: Fencing with self-closing and self-latching gates can help keep children away from water when they aren’t being supervised.

Wear a life jacket: Children and weaker swimmers should wear life jackets in and around pools and other bodies of water. Everyone, including children and adults, should wear US Coast Guard-approved life jackets whenever they are in open water or on watercraft.

Supervise children in water: When children are in or near water (including bathtubs) they should be supervised at all times. Adults supervising should avoid distracting activities like playing cards, reading books, talking on the phone, drinking alcohol and using drugs.

Avoid alcohol: Adults and teenagers should understand how using alcohol and drugs increases the risk of drowning while swimming or boating. Reduce risks at home: Around the house, empty all buckets, bathtubs and wading pools immediately after use. If you have young children, keep the bathroom door closed, and use toilet locks to prevent access by young children.

Make sure where you’re going is safe: Know the depth of the water and what’s on the bottom. If you dive into a pool that’s not deep enough or into a river with rocks on the bottom, it could lead to spinal injuries, a concussion or broken bones. If you see a person drowning, call 911 and remove them from the water if you can do so safely. Perform CPR until help arrives.

Anytime someone gets in any kind of trouble in the water, they should seek out medical treatment immediately, even if the individual seems to be OK. For every child under age 18 who dies from drowning, another seven receive emergency department care for nonfatal drowning.

The Pediatric Emergency Center at Atrium Health Levine Children’s Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Designed specifically for children and families, the children’s hospital is staffed by board-certified pediatric specialists. Located at 888 Pine St. in Macon, care is available whenever injury or illness occurs.

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of health care in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and well-being through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent is part of Advocate Health, which is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is the third-largest nonprofit health system in the United States, created from the combination of Atrium Health and Advocate Aurora Health. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit

About Advocate Health

Advocate Health is the third-largest nonprofit integrated health system in the United States – created from the combination of Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health. Providing care under the names Advocate Health Care in Illinois, Atrium Health in the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama, and Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin, Advocate Health is a national leader in clinical innovation, health outcomes, consumer experience and value-based care, with Wake Forest University School of Medicine serving as the academic core of the enterprise. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Advocate Health serves nearly 6 million patients and is engaged in hundreds of clinical trials and research studies. It is nationally recognized for its expertise in cardiology, neurosciences, oncology, pediatrics and rehabilitation, as well as organ transplants, burn treatments and specialized musculoskeletal programs. Advocate Health employs 155,000 team members across 69 hospitals and over 1,000 care locations and offers one of the nation’s largest graduate medical education programs with over 2,000 residents and fellows across more than 200 programs. Committed to equitable care for all, Advocate Health provides nearly $6 billion in annual community benefits.