As the warm summer weather rolls in, people of all ages will be venturing out to find a relaxing place to cool off. Many parents and kids will be rushing to the local pools and beaches to share in the refreshing environment that these locations offer. Before heading out to make a splash, make sure that everyone joining in on the fun knows the basic rules of safety.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about ten people die every day from unintentional drowning and of these ten, two are children aged 14 or younger. Among children ages 1 – 14, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind motor vehicle crashes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list the following as factors that influence drowning risk:
Lack of Swimming Ability
Lack of Barriers
Lack of Close Supervision
Failure to Wear Life Jackets
As we get ready to enjoy the warm summers here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help ensure a fun safe day at the pool or beach. First, assign a responsible adult to watch young children – these adults should focus on the children and not partake in other activities. Preschool children should be close enough to reach at all times while swimming, playing in, or around the water. Even if there is a lifeguard present, it is important to have an adult watching over the children while they are in or around the water. Second, make use of the buddy system. Third, know the local weather conditions/forecast in the area that you will be swimming in. High winds and storms are dangerous conditions, especially for swimmers. In addition to these tips, here are some more provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Seizure Disorder Safety – provide one-on-one supervision around water if you are with someone who has a seizure disorder and always make sure to wear life jackets when boating
Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Air-Filled or Foam Toys are not safety devices
Don’t let swimmers hyperventilate before swimming underwater or try to hold their breath for extended periods
This can cause “shallow water blackout” and may result in drowning
Know how to prevent recreational water illnesses
Finally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention address two specific areas: swimming pools at home and natural water settings. If you are swimming at a pool at home:
Install a four-sided pool fence that is at least 4 ft high and that separates the pool area from the house/yard
Keep the pool and deck areas clean and free of toys/objects
If you are at a natural water setting:
Use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket.
Know the meaning of and obey warnings represented by colored beach flags
Watch for signs of rip currents and dangerous waves
If caught in a rip current swim parallel to shore
All the information in this post was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For this information and even more on Home & Recreational Safety, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety
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