Are you prepared for a summer of water safety?

Tuesday, July 02, 2024

Are you prepared for a summer of water safety?

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that drowning deaths are on the rise in the U.S. In 2019, there were around 4,000 accidental drowning deaths, but in 2020, 2021, and 2022, that number jumped about 10% to around 4,500 deaths each year.

Public officials think the increase may be related to the COVID-19 pandemic, although not directly to the virus. During the pandemic, many public pools were closed, swimming lessons were canceled, and lifeguard training stopped. Then, when pools re-opened, not only was it difficult for facility managers to hire experienced lifeguards, but there were also more people in the pool who weren’t strong or practiced swimmers.

Pass these tips on to your crew so they have the safety information they need before they gas up the boat, hit the beach, or bring the kids to the lake or pool.

The American Red Cross says these 5 skills are necessary for basic water safety:

  1. Float or tread water for 1 minute.
  2. Jump into deep water and come up for air.
  3. Spin around in the water to find a way out of the pool.
  4. Get out of a pool without a ladder.
  5. Swim one pool length without stopping.

Here are some safety tips from the Red Cross:

  • Don’t swim alone or if there isn’t a lifeguard.
  • Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket appropriate for your weight and size and the water activity. Always wear a life jacket while boating, regardless of your swimming skills.
  • Swim sober.
  • Understand and adjust for the unique risks of the water environment you are in, such as currents, rip tides, shallow water, and underwater hazards.

For more information on water safety from the American Red Cross, visit their website here