Trauma Tip: Swimming Safety

Summer has arrived and many people love to beat the heat by heading out to the pool or beach, especially children. Before heading out for a fun-filled day, it’s important to exercise proper caution. The National Traffic Safety Institute noted drowning as a leading cause of unintentional death with more than 1000 children under the age of 14 drowning each year. Before taking a dip into the cool water, here are some helpful tips to have a fun and safe outing by the water.

If by the pool:
• Never leave a child unattended and make sure they have a ‘swimming buddy’. Pay full attention to where your children are, even if they know how to swim.
• If at a public pool, check to ensure there is a life guard on duty. Make note of the Safety rings and flotation devices in case of an emergency.
• Have the proper Coast Guard approved flotation devices, such as a life jacket. Arm and ring floats, beach balls or water noodles are fun to play with in the pool but are not secure flotation devices.
• Walk. Don’t run, jump or push anyone- you can accidently hurt someone or yourself.
• Although the water in a wading pool is low, do not leave any child unattended. If it is a fill-up wading pool, make sure to empty it out when the children are done and turn it over.

If by open water, such as a lake, pond or beach:
• Read the signs and locate the designated and approved swim areas.
• Please make sure your children are under adult supervision and are never left unattended.
• Always swim where the lifeguard is visible and check the depth of water before swimming or diving and don’t swim out too far.
• Wear protective footwear. The surfaces at these locations can be rough or rocky. Even at the beach shoreline, there can be many crushed shells washed up on shore.
• Stop swimming as soon as you hear or see a storm.

When it comes to safety, it’s never too late to learn new things. For adults and children alike, it’s always a good idea to enroll in a swim class or contact a local American Red Cross for information on safety courses and how you may be able to obtain your certification in CPR. Acquiring these new skills will never go to waste and will remain with you for life.

Have a safe and enjoyable summer.

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.