Water Safety

Water Safety

Swimmers

Since most drowning victims had no intention of being in water and since most people drown within 10-30 feet of safety, it is important that you and your family learn to swim. Please remember:

Never rely on toys such as inner tubes and water wings to stay afloat.

  • Don’t take chances, by over estimating your swimming skills.
  • Swim only in designated swimming areas.
  • Never swim alone.

Drowning Fatalities: Each year, approximately 6,000 people drown in the United States. Drowning is the SECOND leading cause of accidental deaths for persons 15-44 years of age.

What is really surprising is that two-thirds of the people who drown never had an intention of being in the water!

Water Safety

Divers

Never dive into lakes and rivers...the results can be tragic. Every year, diving accidents result in more than 8,000 people suffering paralyzing spinal cord injuries and another 5,000 dying before they reach the hospital. All too often, hidden dangers lurk beneath the surface of the water, including rock outcrops or shallow water.

Watch Small Children

Each year about 200 children drown and several thousand others are treated in hospitals for submersion accidents, accidents which leave children with permanent brain damage and respiratory health problems.

Remember, it only takes a few seconds for a small child to wander away. Children have a natural curiosity and attraction to water.

Water Safety

Alcohol - The Fun Killer

It’s a fact, alcohol and water do not mix! Unfortunately, many people ignore this and each year about 3,000 of them are wrong…dead wrong! More than half of all the people that drown had consumed alcohol prior to their accident.

Being intoxicated is not necessary for alcohol to be a threat to your safety. Just one beer will impair your balance, vision, judgement and reaction time, thus making you a potential danger to yourself and others.

Research shows that four hours of boating, exposure to noise, vibration, sun, glare and wind produces fatigue that makes you act as if you were legally intoxicated. If you combine alcohol consumption with this boating fatigue condition, it intensifies the effects and increases your accident risk.

So remember, don’t include alcohol in your outing, if you planning to have fun in, on, or near the water.

Cold Water Survival

Your life may depend on a better understanding of cold water. Many suspected drowning victims actually die from cold exposure or hypothermia.

Hypothermia is a condition in which the body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Violent shivering develops which may give way to confusion and a loss of body movement.

If you fall in the water, in any season, hypothermia may occur. Many of our nation’s open waters are mountain fed, and water temperatures even in late summer can run low enough to bring on this condition under certain conditions. It’s important to remember:

  • Don’t discard clothing. Clothing layers provide some warmth that may actually assist you in fighting hypothermia. This includes shoes and hats.
  • Wear your life jacket! This helps hold heat into the core areas of your body, and enables you to easily put yourself into the HELP position. HELP (Heat Escape Lessening Posture) by drawing limbs into your body; keep armpits and groin areas protected from unnecessary exposure – a lot of heat can be lost from those areas, as well as the head.
Water Safety

Other tips

  • Dress warmly with wool clothing
  • Wear rain gear and stay dry
Information Courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers