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Safety Corner: Water Safety

By Sandy Lyons-Jackson

As you venture out to the beach or the waterpark this summer, keep in mind that safety always comes first. According to the National Safety Council, drowning is the second leading cause of preventable death through the age of 15. On average, about ten people die from drowning every day in the United States. There are steps you can take to prevent injury around water.

When Swimming:

  • Don’t go in the water unless you know how to swim.

  • Never swim alone.

  • Make sure the body of water matches your skill level; swimming in a pool is much different than swimming in a lake or river, where more strength is needed.

  • Don’t underestimate the power of water; even rivers and lakes can have undertows.

  • 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.

  • Swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard.

  • Don’t push or jump on others.

  • Don’t dive in unfamiliar areas.

  • Never drink alcohol when swimming.

Keep Your Family Safe:

  • Get trained in CPR and rescue techniques.

  • Never leave your child alone; if you have to leave, take your child with you.

  • Find age-appropriate swim lessons for your child, but keep in mind that lessons do not make your child “drown-proof.”

  • Lifeguards aren’t babysitters; always keep your eyes on your child.

  • Don’t let children play around drains and suction fittings.

  • When operating a boat, never consume alcohol and always made sure everyone is wearing U.S Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

  • Always have a first aid kit and emergency contacts handy.

  • If a child is missing, check the water first.

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