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About this time each year New Hampshire blossoms with mosquitos, strawberries and families looking to slip away from the heat and into one of the hundreds of scenic lakes, rivers and swimming holes that dot the region’s landscape. Backyard pools have been filled and tested, summer camps have been opened for the season, and the most dangerous time of year for young children has begun.

However, a recent American Red Cross poll shows that 63 percent of families surveyed plan to swim this summer in areas that have no lifeguard. Perhaps even more chilling is the fact that 93 percent of those surveyed were unable to identify the correct order of actions to take when helping a drowning swimmer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is a leading cause of accidental deaths each year, with more than 1,000 children under age 14 predicted to drown in 2013 – almost a third of those being between the ages of 1-4, with most of these deaths occurring in the family pool. Another 16,000 children will be rushed to a hospital for almost drowning.

“Swimming is a great summer activity, especially in a state like New Hampshire,” said Maria White, CEO of Red Cross New Hampshire. “But families still need to recognize the risks and prepare their children and themselves to be safe swimmers.”

The American Red Cross is ready to be your prevention partner in helping to keep your family safe this summer. By visiting the local Red Cross site, readers can view water safety tips, sign up for swimming and water safety classes, and learn more about how to be prepared for accidents, injuries and natural disasters.

For more information about summer safety, visit the Red Cross website at RedCross.org.

Test Yourself:

Ninety-three percent of those taking a recent American Red Cross survey on swimming safety didn’t know the right order of steps to take to assist a drowning swimmer. See if you can do better by listing the following choices is order, beginning with what you should do first:

—  Shout for help
— Reach or throw a rescue or
flotation device
— Call 911, if needed

Click Here to find the correct answer.