CHARLOTTE – As temperatures continue to climb, people are turning to beaches and pools to cool off. Having access to a water source during the summer months is a great way to relax and cool off, but there are important safety rules to follow and proactive measures that can be taken to lessen the risk of injury and death. Drowning is a silent killer that affects more than 10 people in the nation a day. It claims more lives among children than any other crisis except for congenital anomalies. Making sure that water activities are safe is always the number one priority.
Dr. Sumon Bhowmick, a physician at Novant Health Waverly Pediatrics & Primary Care, advocates the importance of water safety each time that water is accessible. “It is important that we remember that between ages 1 year to 4 years old, drowning is the number one death-related issue; swim safety is a priority,” he said during an interview. He also expressed a clear message about water safety in relation to safety practices. The best method for being safe in the water is practicing pool safety and always taking precautions. Drowning is often a silent event. Caregivers need to know what to look for each time that they are around water with children and they have direct or indirect access to water.
To prevent drowning from happening, it is important to always practice water safety rules. Making sure that children have been provided with basic swim skills classes that include real life scenarios along with water safety awareness is one practice that is highly suggested. The swim classes that include real life scenarios have children participate in swim lessons that bring children fully clothed with shoes to practice basic swim skills in a real life situation. Promoting water safety and providing children with the know-how to be able to react in a water-related crisis is the best way to prevent drowning. It is also important to use only U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets, provide close supervision at all times for swimmers and know the signs of a swimmer that is in distress.
Water and swim safety is always a top priority when people are in the water, but unfortunately, most accidents happen during “downtime” or indirect access to water. It is important to understand the risks associated with water by homes or in neighborhoods. The primary source of drowning for children is unanticipated access to hot tubs, pools, bathtubs, and natural bodies of water. Owners of these should make it a priority to create safety barriers along with installing alarm systems to ensure that indirect access is prevented with all measures.
Each of us can work together to help prevent drowning. Spending time in the water this summer is an amazing way to cool off. It is a great way to spend time with friends and family making memories and relaxing. Swimming is a wonderful way to stay active, but always remember whether wading, playing, swimming, or relaxing water safety rules always have to be practiced.