Staying Safe On The Water
The tragedy on the Kettle River of a 14 year old girl presumed drowned is a reminder to take precautions on the water. Water safety is also especially important as we approach Memorial Day weekend as boaters plan to hit the water for the first time this year.
The Washington State Department of Health says about 100 people drown statewide every year. It says most of those deaths are preventable. It’s therefore reminding people to take precautions on the water.
Here’s a list of those simple safety steps from the Department of Health.
– Remember that although air temperatures have warmed up, streams and lakes are still cold, and rivers can be high and swift. Always wear a life jacket that fits when you’re on the water, and make sure children do as well.
– Know your limits. Swimming in open water is more demanding than swimming in a pool. Watch out for tricky currents. Be aware that many lakes and rivers have sudden, steep underwater drop-offs.
– Especially if you’re not a strong swimmer, swim only in life-guarded areas.
– Don’t overload boats, and make sure belongings on board are well-balanced.
– Stay sober. Alcohol and other drugs increase the risk of trouble on and in the water.
– Among children 1 to 4, most drownings occur in home swimming pools. Most of the young drowning victims are out of sight for less than five minutes, long enough for a tragedy to occur. Don’t allow young kids in or near pools without an adult, and always keep an eye on them. If a child is missing for even a few seconds, check the pool first.
– Make sure barriers surrounding pools are at least four feet high.
– Know how to swim, and know lifesaving skills such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation.