As the days grow longer, summer approaches and water activities become popular, prioritizing safety is crucial. Accidents and injuries are common due to inadequate precautions. Whether swimming or boating, following these tips can help ensure the safety of you and your loved ones.
Using a life jacket should be as natural to you as putting on a seatbelt in your car before heading to your destination. No matter how well you or your loved one can swim, life jackets are essential to your safety. According to the Center for Disease Control, accidental drownings happen more often than you may think.
- Ten people die every day from unintentional drowning.
- An additional 332 people die each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.
- Drowning is the fifth leading cause of accidental injury death in the United States.
- One in five drowning deaths is a child under the age of 14.
- For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency room care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
Drownings are a silent killer. They often do not appear to be as depicted on television or movies with people screaming and splashing around. No matter what age or swimming skill you may have, drownings can happen to anyone.
Whether it is a public pool, water park or a home pool, accidents can happen in a flash. To ensure pool safety, take preventive measures such as securing barriers and maintaining a clear view of the pool.
Never allow children to swim alone and always supervise them. Public pools may have lifeguards, but it's important for children to have a designated swim buddy.
Additionally, ensure that someone present is trained in rescue, CPR and first aid, and have emergency services contacted immediately if needed.
To stay safe at the beach, familiarize yourself with beach safety principles. Be aware of your surroundings, especially at beaches without lifeguards.
Learn about the flags that indicate water conditions and potential dangers, such as rip currents and high surf. Understanding the flags and their meanings can help you avoid hazards and stay safe. Also, don’t forget your sunscreen!
One of the best ways to help in swimming accident prevention is proper training. Whether adult or child, knowing how to properly swim can go a long way in helping to prevent drownings or other accidents.
Knowing how to swim is not foolproof. Excellent swimmers are still at risk. If the water is stronger than what the swimmer can handle, an accident could occur.
It goes without saying, but we are saying it. Do not drive or operate a boat if you have been consuming alcohol or drugs. You are not only endangering your life, but the life of those on the boat. Responsible sober boating is just as important as not driving while intoxicated.
In addition to sober operation, there are three key boating principals to be aware of, including:
- Always wear a life jacket.
- Have an educated driver who has taken a boating safety course.
- Ensure your boat is in proper working order. The Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons both offer free Vessels Safety Checks.
These tips are not meant to scare you away from enjoying a little fun in the sun.
Knowing the best practices to help keep you and your loved ones safe can actually help you enjoy your time even more.
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to water safety.