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Pediatrician shares two simple tips that could save a child's life at a pool party

"The more folks present, the safer the pool is, right? Wrong."

pool party
Photo by Ash Dowie on Unsplash

If there's a body of water anywhere, a designated adult needs to have their eyes on it.

It's that time of year when the weather across the country is warm enough for families to enjoy outdoor barbecues, picnics and pool parties. That means it's also the time of year when tragedy will strike a certain percentage of families who get blindsided by how quickly and easily a child can drown in a backyard pool, even when they're surrounded by people who care about them and their safety.

We've all been at a gathering where adults are coming and going, chatting, setting up food, taking trips to the bathroom, all while kids are busy playing in the water. In such scenarios, it's easy to assume that someone else is keeping an eye on the pool.

But as pediatrician Diane Arnaout has shared, the harrowing reality is that the more people there are at a pool party the more likely it is that a child could slip into the pool or become distressed in the water without anyone noticing.

In a Facebook post that has been shared more than 77,000 times, Dr. Arnaout wrote:



"The more folks present, the safer the pool is, right?

Wrong.

The more people present, the more DISTRACTIONS or ASSUMPTIONS.

Do not assume someone is watching over your kid.

Do not assume that older kids will help out smaller kids.

Do not assume that there is a commotion with drowning.

Do not assume your small child is hanging out inside the house (they wander outside, and to the pool).

Drowning is silent, quick, and devastating. There is no splashing. There is no crying out. There is no screaming."

When people picture someone drowning, they often imagine flailing arms and splashing in the water, and maybe someone crying out for help when they get their mouth above water. But that's not how it looks at all. It's calm, quiet and easy to not notice if someone isn't watching for it.

That's why Arnaout suggests two prevention tips that can increase the chance of catching a kid in trouble in a pool before the situation becomes dire.

"If you or your friends are getting together this summer and a pool is involved (EVEN A LITTLE TODDLER BLOW-UP POOL, OR A WATER SLIDE WITH A COLLECTION POOL AT THE BOTTOM), you MUST assign a person to watch the kids.

My friends and I have come up with two plans:

1) everybody chips in $10 and we hire a lifeguard for the party

2) We are all assigned the WATER WATCHER BAND - you can get these at my office or make one of your own. The person who wears it is in charge of watching the water at all times. Trade it out with someone else every 15-20 minutes.

This assures the kids are observed constantly!"

The Water Watcher bands she has pictured are something her facility gives out, but she explained that people can make their own. And it doesn't have to be a bracelet—just anything that signifies a specific person as a designated pool watcher.

"Please remember that this concept could be something as easy as a scrunchie on the wrist, a rubber ball or toy to hold, or a plastic lanyard around the neck," Arnaout wrote in a comment. "The point is—the person wearing or holding it is committed to being completely distraction-free: no phones, no conversing with others, and completely focused on the pool. Remember the LAYERS of protection you can give your kids: education by talking to them about pool safety, swim lessons, lifejackets (US Coast Guard approved), and observation!"

The no distractions part is huge. A pool watcher should be watching the pool. Adults can take turns in 15 or 20-minute increments even, as long as someone is tasked with the job is watching the water.

Comments on Arnaout's post are filled with the loved ones of children who have drowned or nearly drowned in pools, and their stories are devastating. It happens much more easily than people think, which is why it's vital to take proactive precautionary measures and not assume that because a group is full of responsible adults someone will notice a child drowning. It happens too fast and too quietly, even when adults are nearby. A designated person to watch the pool and know what to look for is one of the best ways to prevent such tragedies from occurring.

SafeKids.org has a Water Watcher Card you can print yourself:

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10 anti-holiday recipes that prove the season can be tasty and healthy

Balance out heavy holiday eating with some lighter—but still delicious—fare.

Albertson's

Lighten your calorie load with some delicious, nutritious food between big holiday meals.

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The holiday season has arrived with its cozy vibe, joyous celebrations and inevitable indulgences. From Thanksgiving feasts to Christmas cookie exchanges to Aunt Eva’s irresistible jelly donuts—not to mention leftover Halloween candy still lingering—fall and winter can feel like a non-stop gorge fest.

Total resistance is fairly futile—let’s be real—so it’s helpful to arm yourself with ways to mitigate the effects of eating-all-the-things around the holidays. Serving smaller amounts of rich, celebratory foods and focusing on slowly savoring the taste is one way. Another is to counteract those holiday calorie-bomb meals with some lighter fare in between.

Contrary to popular belief, eating “light” doesn’t have to be tasteless, boring or unsatisfying. And contrary to common practice, meals don’t have to fill an entire plate—especially when we’re trying to balance out heavy holiday eating.

It is possible to enjoy the bounties of the season while maintaining a healthy balance. Whether you prefer to eat low-carb or plant-based or gluten-free or everything under the sun, we’ve got you covered with these 10 easy, low-calorie meals from across the dietary spectrum.

Each of these recipes has less than 600 calories (most a lot less) per serving and can be made in less than 30 minutes. And Albertsons has made it easy to find O Organics® ingredients you can put right in your shopping cart to make prepping these meals even simpler.

Enjoy!

eggs and green veggies in a skillet, plate of baconNot quite green eggs and ham, but closeAlbertsons

Breakfast Skillet of Greens, Eggs & Ham

273 calories | 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 (5 oz) pkg baby spinach

2 eggs

1 clove garlic

4 slices prosciutto

1/2 medium yellow onion

1 medium zucchini squash

1/8 cup butter, unsalted

1 pinch crushed red pepper

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bow of cauliflower ham saladGet your cauliflower power on.Albertsons

Creamy Cauliflower Salad with Ham, Celery & Dill

345 calories | 20 minutes

1/2 medium head cauliflower

1 stick celery

1/4 small bunch fresh dill

8 oz. ham steak, boneless

1/2 shallot

1/4 tspblack pepper

1/4 tsp curry powder

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp mayonnaise

1/8 tsp paprika

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

tofu on skewers on a plate with coleslawPlant-based food fan? This combo looks yums. Albertsons

Grilled Chili Tofu Skewers with Ranch Cabbage, Apple & Cucumber Slaw

568 calories | 20 minutes

1 avocado

1/2 English cucumber

1 (12 oz.) package extra firm tofu

1 Granny Smith apple

3 Tbsp (45 ml) Ranch dressing

1/2 (14 oz bag) shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)

2 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

frittata in a cast iron skilletSometimes you just gotta frittata.Albertsons

Bell Pepper, Olive & Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata with Parmesan

513 calories | 25 minutes

6 eggs

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

2 oz Parmesan cheese

1 red bell pepper

1/2 medium red onion

8 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with slices of grilled chicken and a caprese saladCaprese, if you please.Albertsons

Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Classic Caprese Salad

509 calories | 25 minutes

3/4 lb chicken breasts, boneless skinless

1/2 small pkg fresh basil

1/2 (8 oz pkg) fresh mozzarella cheese

1 clove garlic

3 tomatoes

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 3/4 pinches black pepper

1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

four stuffed mushrooms on a plateThese mushrooms look positively poppable.Albertsons

Warm Goat Cheese, Parmesan & Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

187 calories | 35 minutes

1/2 lb cremini mushrooms

1 clove garlic

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1 1/4 pinches crushed red pepper

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with open English muffin with goat cheese and sliced baby tomatoes on topMove over, avocado toast. English muffin pizzas have arrived.Albertsons

English Muffin Pizzas with Basil Pesto, Goat Cheese & Tomatoes

327 calories | 10 minutes

3 Tbsp (45 ml) basil pesto

2 English muffins

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/2 pint grape tomatoes

3/4 pinch black pepper

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

pita pocket on a plate filled with veggies, meat and cheeseThis pita pocket packs a colorful punch.Albertsons

Warm Pita Pocket with Turkey, Cheddar, Roasted Red Peppers & Parsley

313 calories | 20 minutes

1/4 (8 oz) block cheddar cheese

1/2 bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

4 oz oven roasted turkey breast, sliced

1/2 (12 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers

1 whole grain pita

3/4 pinch black pepper

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp mayonnaise

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with toast smeared with avocado and topped with prosciuttoDid we say, "Move over, avocado toast?" What we meant was "Throw some prosciutto on it!" Albertsons

Avocado Toast with Crispy Prosciutto

283 calories | 10 minutes

1 avocado

2 slices prosciutto

2 slices whole grain bread

1 5/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp onion powder

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bowl of chili with cheese and green onions on topVegetarian chili with a fall twistAlbertsons

Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili with Cheddar

444 calories | 30 minutes

2 (15 oz can) black beans

1/2 (8 oz ) block cheddar cheese

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

2 green bell peppers

1 small bunch green onions (scallions)

1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin purée

1 medium yellow onion

1/2 tsp black pepper

5 7/8 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp cumin, ground

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

For more delicious and nutritious recipes, visit albertsons.com/recipes.

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