Know the Facts about Water Safety

Water Safety

Warm weather means water fun! Swimming. Boating. Snorkeling. Fishing. Water parks. Trips to Lake of the Ozarks. Vacations to beaches. It’s fun. There’s nothing to worry about … or is there?

about nine people die from drowning every day in the United States Click To Tweet

Water Safety Statistics

Water safety for childrenAccording to the Injury Facts 2017 from the National Safety Council, about nine people die from drowning every day in the United States.

  • Children between the ages of one and four have the highest drowning rates.
  • Drowning is the second leading cause of death for people ages 5 to 24.
  • Of the 3,406 drownings in 2014, more than 12% were children age four and younger (again, according to the Injury Facts 2017).
  • 70% of all water-recreational deaths involved the use of alcohol in some way.

However, swimming pools aren’t the only water-related danger to be aware of. Bathtubs, toilets and buckets can pose a danger for very young children and accidental drownings can happen in water as shallow as in a bathtub. Boats and diving boards also pose risks.

American Red Cross Water Safety Awareness

According to the Red Cross:

  • 97% of people are unable to identify a swimmer in danger. Many envision a person splashing and bobbing in the water, screaming for help. However, this isn’t always the case. Someone may experience a sudden chest pain or cramp and quietly slide under the water.
  • 20% of households have children who can’t swim. Often, we get busy and don’t consider the fact that children as young as six months old can be taught to swim.
  • 63% of people will swim somewhere without a lifeguard. At a minimum, a life jacket should be worn in these situations.
  • 67% of people think water wings are enough to keep children safe in the water. Water wings are not life jackets. They can slide or lose air causing the child’s face to go under water.

Factors that influence or increase the risk of drowning

  • life jackets for water safetyLack of swimming ability
  • Lack of barriers such as pool fencing
  • Lack of close supervision
  • Failure to wear a life jacket
  • Alcohol use
  • Ease of access to the pool area

For people with seizure disorders, drowning is the most common cause of unintentional injury death with the bathtub as the site of highest drowning risk.

When it comes to boats, many incidents are related to:

  • Not wearing a life jacket
  • Operator error
  • Lack of training
  • Alcohol use

Other ways you can suffer injuries include:

  • Slipping and falling on ladders or the pool or boat deck
  • Diving accidents caused by things such as inadequate traction on the diving board

Water-related injuries can range from very minor water inhalation to broken bones, loss of body function, memory problems, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and death.

Water Accident Prevention

  • No alcohol for water safetyNever drink alcohol while boating and swimming
  • Always supervise children in and near water
  • Require young children to wear a life jacket at all times in and near water
  • Teach children water safety
  • Do not allow children to swim near drains or suction outlets
  • Always swim with a buddy

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