Summer is prime time for frequent trips to water parks, pools, beaches and lakes. Unfortunately, it’s also the high season for drowning and even dry drowning that occurs after swimming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
The key to prevention is water safety education. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when planning water activities this summer:
- Learn to swim. The American Association of Pediatrics recommend children start swimming lessons around age one. You can find lessons at your local pool.
- Learn CPR and first aid. In the time it takes for paramedics to arrive, your CPR and first aid skills could save someone’s life. Find CPR and first aid certification programs online in your local area.
- Use the buddy system. Never swim alone.
- Wear a life jacket when on a boat, raft, inner tube, kayak or canoe.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating or water skiing. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children.
- If you have a pool at home, make sure you have the proper safety mechanisms (i.e., gates, latches, locks, etc.) in place to prevent accidents.
We all love to have fun, but we must do our part to protect others and ourselves by practicing water safety. If you have questions or concerns about preparing for summer activities, your primary care physician can help.