|Always swim with a buddy & wear a PFD when boating!|
It's time to think about Water Safety
Happy Memorial Day Weekend! As this weekend is the unofficial kick-off to our summer season, and National Safe Boating Week just wrapped up (May 16-22), it's time to really think about water and boat safety.
Here's some excellent points and facts to focus on - not to scare you, but to better prepare you for making Summer 2015 as fun and safe as possible for you and your family.
- Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
- Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
- Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well.
- Actively supervise kids whenever around the water—even if lifeguards are present. Do not just drop your kids off at the public pool or leave them at the beach—designate a responsible adult to supervise.
- Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
- If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
- Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub. Safety covers and pool alarms should be added as additional layers of protection.
- Ensure that pool barriers enclose the entire pool area, are at least 4-feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching and open outward, and away from the pool. The latch should be high enough to be out of a small child’s reach.
- If you have an above-ground or inflatable pool, remove access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever the pool is not in use.
- Remove any structures that provide access to the pool, such as outdoor furniture, climbable trees, decorative walls and playground equipment.
- Keep toys that are not in use away from the pool and out of sight. Toys can attract young children to the pool.
- If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
- Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
- If you own a home pool or hot tub, have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
- Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
- Safety Stats
- In 2014, the Coast Guard was notified of 4,064 boating accidents that resulted in 610 people killed, 2,678 injuries and approximately $39 million of damage to property.
- 78% of fatal boating accident victims drowned.
- 84% percent were not wearing a life jacket, the single most important piece of safety equipment you can have on.
- Eight out of every 10 people who drowned in 2014 were reported using boats less than 21-feet in length.
- Staying Safe
- Always wear a PFD when boating.
- Planning to Paddle? Know Your Limits!
- Have your boat safety inspected.
- Make sure you have the correct safety equipment and know how to use it.
- Important: Make sure a friend or family member knows where you will be boating, when you'll return and what to do if you are overdue.
Image credit: The National Guard