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By Wilma Randolf, RN, Staff Medical Writer

PALO ALTO DESK - The National Safety Council's 1994 Accident Facts Report shows that drowning is the second leading cause of death for young people, aged one to twenty-four, and the seventh-leading cause for adults over age twenty-four. So with summer here and hordes heading for the beaches and pools, it's a season for caution.

'Lives can be saved if people use caution around the water and learn the proper rescue techniques for drowning victims' advises Gloria Kruse, health services director of the American Red Cross in Nassau County.

Being prepared and aware of danger signs is the best way to ensure a safe summer season.

The American Red Cross offers the following 12 Water Safety Tips to avoid injuries or drowning.

In the event of an emergency: Remove the victim from the water. Have someone call 911 or yourlocal emergency number. Check for consciousness and breathing. If the person is not breathing, open the airway and attempt rescue breathing. If breaths do not go in, retilt the head and attempt rescue breathing again.

If air still does not go in, give abdominal thrusts (Heimlich maneuver) for children and adults to clear the airway. Once the airway is clear, provide rescue breathing or CPR as needed.

The American Red Cross offers courses in water safety and CPR classes. For more information, call your local Red Cross Office.


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