Avoid Trauma in the Water This Summer

When venturing into the water this summer, shark sightings or jelly fish stings shouldn’t be the only things you need to concern yourself with. Serious injuries can occur in the water and it is important to follow proper precautions.

Whether you are at the beach or in the pool this summer, follow these safety tips this summer to avoid water-related trauma.

ThinkstockPhotos-477399152Heading to your favorite beach can be a lot of fun, but the ocean is very powerful. When venturing into the water, only swim in designated areas supervised by a lifeguard because dangerous rip currents can affect even the strongest of swimmers.

Know your environment before diving headfirst into waves or riding your surf or boogie board. Steep drop-offs or natural hazards such as sandbars or rocks can result in severe injuries to the head, neck and other parts of your body.

Lastly, even if you are close to the shore, be careful. Strong breaking waves can disrupt your footing and knock you over, causing severe injuries.

Jet skiing, water skiing, tubing, or boating are all fun water activities, but failing to follow the proper safety rules can be devastating. Last year, there were over 4,000 reported boating accidents, resulting in approximately 2,600 injuries and 560 deaths.

To avoid an accident, be sure to stay in navigable waters and never travel at excessive speeds. Also be sure to maintain plenty of distance between yourself and other boats, and be on the lookout for other people in the water. Failing to be aware of the rules can result in serious trauma or even death.

You don’t have to be at the beach or lake to experience a water-related trauma. Pools can also pose many opportunities for serious injury.

Be sure to secure your pool by surrounding it with a fence and self-latching gate. Place a safety cover on the pool or hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps used for access. Consider installing a pool alarm that alerts you if anyone enters the pool.

Make sure the depth of the pool is clearly marked to avoid anyone diving into the shallow end. Also make sure the edge of the pool is clear of any objects that can be tripped over and be sure that no one runs along the edges of the pool. Slips and falls can result in severe head trauma.
Regardless of whether you are at the pool or beach, mixing alcohol and participating in any kind or water-related activity is a bad idea.

Recommendations to minimize the chances of a serious injury include the usage of life jackets and other flotation devises whenever necessary. Enrolling in approved first aid and CPR courses are also beneficial and can save the life of someone you love.

Jamaica Hospital operates a Level 1 Trauma Center, the highest designation for trauma care. During the summer, the Trauma Center sees an increase in water-related traumatic injuries. Our entire trauma team wants our community to exercise caution to avoid injury.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.