Summer’s not over yet; make water safety a priority
Warm weather means lots of things, including more time spent outdoors doing fun activities that involve water.
But whether you’re taking a dip in a pool, heading to a lake or river for a boat ride, or spending your vacation at the beach, there’s a serious side to water that deserves a great deal of respect, health experts advise.
“Swimming in a pool is much different from swimming in a lake or river where more skill and strength is needed to handle currents, potential undertows and other hazards in natural bodies of water,” said Safe Kids and Injury Prevention Coordinator Amanda Tabin.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning every day and that does not include boating incidents. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger.
To help keep your family safe while still enjoying the last weeks of summer, Tabin recommends the following tips:
• Make sure everyone in your family knows how to swim. Children and adults who are weak swimmers should wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when in or near water.
• Never leave children alone near water. Young children should be kept within arm’s reach. If you have to leave, take your child with you.
• Keep children away from pool drains and suction fittings.
• Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
• Use the buddy system.
• Unless you’re in a pool with a safe diving area, do not enter water headfirst.
• Never swim under the influence.
• When boating, make sure everyone wears a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
• Avoid pushing or jumping on others when near or in water.
• When in unfamiliar waters, do not dive. Watch for underwater hazards like rocks and debris.
• Consider becoming trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
“Like many medical emergencies, seconds count,” Tabin said. “Having someone with you who is CPR trained can make a difference and help save a life.”
About Aspirus-Aspirus is a non-profit, community-directed health system based in Wausau, Wisconsin. Its 8,700 employees are focused on improving the health and well-being of people throughout Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Aspirus serves communities through four hospitals in Michigan and six hospitals in Wisconsin, 50 clinics, home health and hospice care, pharmacies, critical care and air-medical transport, medical goods, nursing homes and a broad network of physicians. Aspirus was recognized in 2018 and 2019 by IBM Watson Health as a Top 15 Health System in its annual study identifying the top-performing health systems in the country. For more information, visit aspirus.org.