If you are planning on swimming in the lake, being around water, or taking a cruise on the boat this holiday weekend, it is a good habit to practice water safety. In the United States, drowning is the leading cause of fatalities in small boats after falls overboard. It is also the second leading cause of unintentional injury or death for children between the ages of 1-14. Drowning can happen quickly and quietly, so avoid distracting activities like checking your phone, reading a book, or consuming too much alcohol. Luckily, drowning is preventable so it is important that you stick to the following CDC guidelines when in or around the water.
- Wear a life jacket. Life jackets reduce risk of drowning while boating for people of all ages and swimming abilities. Children under the age of 10 must always wear a life jacket when in or around water or while a watercraft is underway.
- Supervise closely. Designate a responsible adult to always supervise closely and constantly when children are in or near water.
- Use a buddy system. Always swim with a buddy
- Avoid alcohol. Try not to consume alcohol before or during swimming. It can heighten your risk of drowning. In addition, never drink and boat. Boating while under the influence of alcohol or any other substance is illegal and can have serious consequences.
- Learn basic swimming and water safety skills. Knowing how to swim can greatly reduce risk of drowning accidents in children and adults.
- Learn CPR. Knowing how to perform CPR is a great skill to have in case of emergency. It can save someone’s life.
We hope that everyone can enjoy the water this weekend and we wish everyone a safe and fun-filled Independence Day! For more information about preventing drowning accidents, visit the CDC Drowning Prevention page.