Water and Swimming Safety
It’s the summer time and many families are piling into their vehicles and heading for pools, lakes and beaches. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning with two of these being children aged 14 or under. Drowning is ranked 5th in leading cause of death of unintentional injury in the United States. Individuals who are treated in emergency departments due to drowning require hospitalization and their injuries could lead to severe brain damage and long term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities and permanent loss of basic functioning.
The CDC provides some research based tips on how we can prevent drowning accidents:
- Supervise children in or around water
(Preschool children should be provided with “touch supervision” which means that the adult can reach the child at all times.)
- Use the buddy system
(Swim with a buddy and swim at sites where lifeguards are available when possible)
- Seizure Disorder Safety
(For individuals with known seizure disorders, provide one-on-one supervision around water. Consider showers over a bathtub for bathing and always wear life jackets when boating.)
- Learn to swim
(Swimming skills help and reduces the risk of drowning among children aged 1-4 years)
- Learn CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)
- Only use life jackets as safety devices as pool noodles or tubes are not designed to keep swimmers safe
- Avoid alcohol and other mind-altering substances.
- Don’t let swimmers hyperventilate before swimming or try to hold their breath underwater for long periods of time.
(This can cause them to blackout and drown)
- Understand how to prevent recreational water illnesses
- Check local weather conditions and forecast prior to swimming or boating
It’s important to follow current guidelines for social distancing and mask use as required by local and state government at this time in addition to increasing awareness and vigilance around swimming pools and water. Keep yourselves safe this summer and check out www.cdc.gov for more information.