Why is it Important to Practice Swimming Safety?
Drowning is a leading cause of injury-related death, especially in children and young adults. According to the Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin, from 2016 to 2018, there were 213 emergency department visits and 30 deaths in children under 18 due to drowning. Children under 5 are also at an increased risk for drowning, but teenagers are as well- mostly due to risk-taking behaviors in this age group. Below are some safety tips to consider and precautions you should be aware of.
Swimming Pool Hazards
In addition to drowning, other hazards to be aware of in a pool setting include:
- Harmful pool cleaning chemicals
- Metal drains that are exposed
- Water that is dirty or even contaminated
- Walking surfaces that are wet or slippery
- Diving boards and slides
All these potential hazards can increase the likelihood of a swimming pool accident and threaten the safety of you, your family, or your friends.
In other water settings – such as lakes, rivers, and oceans – there are hazards as well, including:
- Water quality hazards
- Rip currents or undertows
- Dry drowning (children who aspirate water can drown shortly after leaving the water if untreated)
- Boats and jet skis that are not aware of swimmers
Important Safety Tips for Swimming
No matter what type of water you are swimming in, here are some simple safety tips to keep in mind:
- Never swim alone
- Supervise children closely and teach them to ask permission to go in or near water.
- Make sure young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets
- Swimming lessons for all family members is a great way to prevent water accidents.
- If you own a pool, make sure it is properly secured. Many times, children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes, and usually, one or both parents were home at the time.
- Avoid distractions when supervising.
- If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
- Make sure you have the appropriate equipment available, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets, and a first aid kit.
- Protect your skin. Always wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15, and limit sun exposure between 10 am and 4 pm.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day
Sustained a Swimming Injury?
Unfortunately, even when precautions are taken around water, accidents may still occur. If you or a loved one has been injured in a swimming incident, it is best to call a personal injury attorney who can help you with your questions, paperwork, and uncertainties.