Every day, ten people die from drowning accidents (two of which are children aged 14 or younger.) Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States. This is troubling, to say the least. After all; swimming is a popular summer activity. To BE SAFE this summer, follow these safety tips whenever you are in, on or around water—
Around a pool or hot tub
- Make water safety a priority.
- Swim only in designated areas which are supervised by lifeguards.
- Don’t swim alone. I suggest you swim in a pack.
- Make sure that everyone in your family knows how to swim. Enroll in age-appropriate learn-to-swim classes.
- Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub. Safety covers and pool alarms should be added as additional layers of protection.
- Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear life jackets around water. But do not rely solely on life jackets.
- Set limits based on each person’s ability to swim or dog-paddle.
- Do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings.
- Ensure that pool barriers enclose the entire pool area, are at least 4-feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching and open outward, and away from the pool. The latch should be high enough to be out of a small child’s reach.
- If you have an above-ground or inflatable pool, remove access ladders and secure the safety cover when the pool is not in use.
- Remove any structures that provide access to the pool.
- Keep toys that are not in use away from the pool and out of sight. Toys can attract young children to the pool.
- Actively supervise kids whenever around the water—even if lifeguards are present.
- Always stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
- Remove water from tubs and buckets after use. Empty all tubs, buckets, containers and wading pools immediately after use. Store them upside-down and out of children’s reach. I think it would be okay to leave the dog bowl full of water.
Close Lids and Doors
- Keep toilet lids closed and use toilet seat locks to prevent drowning…even though it keeps me from drinking the cold water right from the bowl.
- Keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed.
Around natural bodies of water
- Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water such as ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes.
- Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards are dangerous. If the weather is poor, swim another day.
- If you go boating, wear a life jacket!
- Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.
Know What to Do in an Emergency
- Enroll in a Red Cross, water safety, and First Aid and/or CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
- If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count.
- Call 911.
- Keep appropriate equipment on hand, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
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