Tips to Stay Safe and Have fun all Summer Long
With July 4th having come and gone, summer is officially in full swing. Children are home from school for their summer breaks and the days are growing hotter. Pools, beaches, and water activities are increasingly becoming an every day activity for many families. With the increase in water activities, also comes an increase in water related injuries and deaths. Regardless of if there are children in your household, practicing pool and water safety is a must to prevent water related injuries or death and to keep your summer fun all season long.
According to wlsl.org (The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson), “in 2015, an estimated 360,000 people died from drowning [worldwide].” Drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries and death, ranking in at number three and “accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths” (wlsl.org). Between the years of 2005 to 2014, “there was an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non boating related) annually in the United States” states wlsl.org. That equates to roughly ten drowning related deaths per day.
Drowning is one of the leading causes for accidental deaths.
With drowning being a leading cause in accidental deaths, particularly in children ages one to four, learning proper pool and water safety could save your life or the life of someone you love. Ncs.org says that “the USA Swimming Foundation reports nearly 90 children younger than 15 drowned in a pool or spa from January through May 2018, and every year about 19 children drown during the July 4 holiday.” Always be sure to remain aware of your surroundings and not to leave any children unattended in the bathtub or pool area for even a moment, because it only takes one inch of water for someone to drown.
If your home has a pool or hot tub, make sure that children cannot access them and that you and your family are trained and able to perform CPR. Parent Guide News recommends installing “safety fences between the home and the water feature” to prevent access. They continue to advise installing locks on doors and windows high enough to prevent a child from undoing them and gaining unsupervised access to any pools or spas and to drain any wading pools immediately after each use (parentguidenews.com).
Make sure all members of your family know how to swim.
Ensuring that children and all members of your family know how to swim, float, roll over while in water, and pull themselves out of a pool is crucial in reducing the risks of injury or death while at the pool or beach. Enrolling children into age appropriate swim lessons from the time they are infants can significantly lower the risk of any accidental drownings by equipping the child with the necessary skills to flip themselves over, float, and pull themselves out of a pool should they fall in.
While at the beach, you should remain extra vigilant in your water safety skills since there is now an added factor to be aware of – Mother Nature. Always remain aware of your surroundings and the surroundings of the other people and children in your group. Make sure you are aware of any warnings posted, such as wind or current advisories. To prevent being dragged to a different section of the beach or into a strong current that could pull you out to sea, keep an eye on where you set up your belongings and regularly move back in that direction. NSC.org states that “if you do get caught in a current, don’t try to fight it, stay calm and float with it, or swim parallel to the shore until you can swim free.” Staying hydrated and taking frequent breaks can also prevent fatigue that can lead to possible trouble.
Learning and following these safety tips and making sure to always remain focused on your surroundings and children, will help keep your summer fun and exciting all season long.