If you’re the aquatic-type, this is your time of year. The temperatures are climbing with the humidity and one of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors is by slipping into a body of water to cool off, exercise or play with your grandchildren.
However, the water can be as dangerous as it is fun and unfortunately accidents happen all too often. Before we step one foot by the water it’s important to understand the potential pitfalls. Taking some time to review our safety tips may prevent an adverse event.
One of the most satisfying ways to enjoy the water is on a watercraft. If you’re going to be on a vessel this summer make sure the craft has been prepared for the water with life vests and other safety devices. You should also familiarize yourself with the major contributors to adult boating accidents, which are:
- Consuming alcoholic drinks – Some states/specific bodies of water allow boaters to consume a certain amount of alcohol and still be legal to operate a watercraft. Alcohol consumption can be dangerous not only for the operator but all passengers onboard, though
- Lack of PFD – Personal Flotation Devices should be worn at all times. If you unexpectedly fall overboard, these can save your life.
- Solo activity – This issue is specific to older adults. Spending time on or near the water alone is ill-advised. About 2/3 of drowning victims over 50 years of age are alone when they fall prey to unfortunate circumstances.
If you plan on spending some time in the swimming pool, be sure to take some precautions. Make sure you know of the dangers. Accidents can happen in virtually any level of water.
Keep a watchful eye on any children with which you’re enjoying the pool; swimming lessons are helpful, but they’re not enough. Also, be sure to apply sunscreen liberally to yourself and the youngsters, about one ounce every two hours.
If you own a pool, it’s a good idea to give the equipment a good inspection each spring. Are the ladders fastened securely to their mounting device? Is there a lockable gate to keep unsupervised children away from the water? Do you have a telephone close-by in case of an emergency?