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Water Safety. By Our Student Pharmacist, Taylor Law.

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What is the first thing you want to do on a hot summer day? Head to the pool of course!

Before heading over to the pool, we wanted to remind you about some water safety tips!

Water safety is extremely important to know at all ages. It only takes a moment for a tragedy to occur. A child is never too young to start learning how to be safe around any body of water.

Here are some facts about drownings in the United States you probably didn’t realize:

  • Drowning is a leading cause of death for children.
  • About 10 people die each day from unintentional drowning.
  • Behind birth defects, drowning is the next leading cause of death for children aged 1 to 4.
  • For children and adults with autism, drowning has been found to be a leading cause of death.

There is no depth of water that is deemed completely safe. Drownings can happen in bathtubs, pools, hot tubs, lakes, ponds, rivers, and oceans. For children younger than 5, the majority of drowning happens in pools.

Drowning also does not discriminate. It can affect any age, race, or economic status. If you are ever around water and someone doesn’t know how to swim, everyone should take extra caution to ensure no accidental drownings occur.

When planning to swim here are some tips to stay safe:

  • Never swim alone
  • Keep fences, gates, and doors to pools locked when not using them
  • Know how deep the water is and stay within in your limits
  • Always enter water feet first
  • Lifejackets or other floatation devices should be encouraged for those who do not know how to swim
  • Swim sober

Knowing what to do when an emergency occurs is also extremely important. If you’re with children near water and they go missing, the first place to look for them should be in the water. If a lifeguard is present, ask them for help also.

You will want to recognize when someone is struggling in water. An example of this is someone who is not making forward progression in the water or is completely vertical, bobbing up and down. If someone is struggling in the water you will want to get them out of the water, but you also never want to put yourself in danger. Always make sure the scene and area are safe for you to intervene.

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What is the best thing you can do for your family to stay safe near water?

  • Enroll your children in swimming lessons from an early age.
  • Talk to your children about water safety and the rules about water.
  • Be able to recognize an emergency.
  • Always have lifejackets quickly and readily available.

If you are looking for swim lessons or want more information on water safety, the YMCA and Red Cross are great places to start looking. Here are their links:

https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/swimming/swim-lessons

https://www.ymca.org/what-we-do/healthy-living/water-safety

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References: 

 

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