Happy Summer! Although we are fast approaching the halfway mark, there’s a lot more summer fun ahead. For many of us, we spend time in the water; pools, lake or the beach.
Since water deaths are the second leading cause of accidental death for young people ages 5-24, let’s review some water safety tips for the whole family:
- Use the buddy system when swimming. There is an element of safety in numbers and a buddy can assist you if you need help out of the water or get assistance If needed.
- Observe and read all signs or warnings in the water and surrounding area. If it says “No Swimming” or “Lifeguard not on duty”, that’s a pretty good signal for you NOT to go swimming. These areas are NOT safe. You always look for a swim area with a lifeguard on duty.
- Large bodies of water such as lakes, and ocean are not the same as swimming in a pool! Swimming can be more difficult based upon the currents and distance. You can tire easily.
- Take Swimming Lessons! Having learned swimming skills reduces your chances of drowning or getting in trouble in the water. Most parks and recs, YMCA’s, camps or private swim and tennis clubs have lessons and the cost can be very reasonable if not free in some cases.
- Alcohol and Water Do Not Mix! Alcohol distorts our judgment and can make us overconfident in our abilities.
- Boating & Alcohol. Did you know that more people die in boating accidents every year than in airplane crashes or train wrecks. One third of boating deaths are alcohol related.
- Boating Specifics. Make sure there are flotation devices for very person on board. Your Captain/person handling the boat should be experienced, competent and not be under the influence.
You can find more information on summer safety at http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/water-safety.html.