By Krysta Wilkins
As the fifth leading cause of unintentional deaths in the United States, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that children ages one to four have the highest drowning rates.
The main factors that affect drowning risk are lack of swimming ability, unsupervised water access, lack of close supervision while swimming, failure to wear life jackets, and alcohol use.
Swimming is a definite summer staple, but before you dive into your summer water activities, keep you and your family safe by following these simple tips whenever you’re in, on or around water:
- Supervise When in or Around Water – Designate a responsible adult to watch young children while swimming or playing in or around water.
- Learn to Swim – Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning.
- Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) – Your CPR skills could save someone’s life.
- Air-Filled or Foam Toys are not safety devices – These toys are not life jackets and are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
In Natural Water Settings:
Use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets – Life jackets reduce risk of drowning. Know the meaning of and obey warnings represented by colored beach flags – These may vary from one beach to another. Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents – Water may be discolored and choppy, foamy, or filled with debris.