Water is wonderful.
It provides relief from the hot summer sun. Water lets you soak and swim with family and friends. It makes it easier to maximize your workouts and push body to the brink.
However, it can also be incredibly hazardous.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 people die every day from unintentional drowning–and two are typically children 14 or younger.
These facts are frightening, especially because drowning can happen in an instant.
Luckily, drowning is almost always preventable, and everyone who is spending time on, in or around water has a responsibility to keep everyone else safe.
Here is a look at some important water safety tips that can help make sure you (and your family and friends) have a wonderful time with water this summer:
1. Teach the tots
Teaching children water safety and swimming skills as soon as possible is an incredibly effective way to keep them safe around water–especially because drowning is a leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 14.
2. Watch everyone around water
When it comes to keeping one another safe around water, you can’t assume that someone else is doing the watching. Assign someone as the “designated watcher,” but even if you aren’t designated, keep your eyes on everyone too. Remember, drowning can happen incredibly fast, so make sure you maintain constant visual contact.
3. Never swim alone
This is one of those water safety tips that some people may think does not apply to them, especially athletes and avid swimmers. But, it really does apply to everyone. Cramps and fatigue can set in quickly and at unexpected times. And when they do, you’ll be safer if there is someone there to help.
4. Learn to love life jackets
Not many people like them and even fewer love them, but life jackets are easy to love once you know that about 1,000 people die every year in the United States because they have been in boating accidents. And, about 90 percent of all of those people were not wearing life jackets when they went into the water.
5. Know when and how to dive
Not all water-related dangers have to do with drowning. Some involve diving. Each year hundreds of people across the country hurt themselves by diving into shallow water, diving in the dark or trying an unusual dive or trick. Don’t risk it. Instead, make sure you know when and how to dive.
6. Reach or throw
This is one of those water safety tips that can be difficult to follow. When people see someone in distress, the first instinct is often to physically go to the person and provide aide. But that’s not the best way to save someone. In fact, it can put you in harm’s way. Instead, reach for the person or throw something to help the person float. You’ll both be safer.
7. Make sure the water is safe
New Hampshire is home to many great swimming lakes, and the ocean is always just a short drive away. However, that doesn’t mean you should simply swim anywhere. You need to make sure the water is safe before you jump in. As a general rule, it is always best to swim in designated areas.
8. Follow the simple water safety tips
These water safety tips should almost go without saying, but sometimes they are easy to forget, so here goes: Don’t run around water. Don’t drink too much when you are supposed to be watching others. Avoid horseplay. Learn CPR. Always have a phone nearby and ready to call 9-1-1.
Derry Medical Services supports good clean fun and wishes you a safe and happy swim season. And, if you need to talk about integrating exercise such as swimming into a healthy routine, consider contacting one of our talented DMC Primary Care Primary Care providers for an appointment.