Every year, people call attention to safety when they enjoy the fun of summer, but too many people can’t hear or hear the message. When summer officially begins, it repeats itself.
Summer fun often means playing in or near the water. However, in many cases people do not consider the potential risks involved.
Places with water, such as pools, streams, rivers, lakes and the sea, pose a potential danger, especially to children.
According to the National SAFEKIDS campaign and the National Safety Council, about 830 children under the age of 14 are drowning each year. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death in children aged 1 to 4 years, and the proximity to drowning causes an average of approximately 3,600 injuries per year to children. And most of the childhood drowning in the pool happens in people’s homes.
Remember that toddlers are at risk of drowning even in shallow water. Parents or other guardians should always look to their children in or near the water, even if there are guards. A brief glance can lead to a disaster.
And it’s not just kids. Already this season, I’ve seen the tragic death of an adult swimming in the Blue Marsh Lake in Berks County.
Even experienced swimmers can face challenges when in seemingly benign waterways. Lakes, rivers, and streams in the area are subject to frequent sudden slowdowns and changes in flow that can be surprised and endangered. The sea poses its own set of dangers.
The National Safety Council’s precautions regarding water safety for children are as follows:
* Do not leave your child alone in or near the water.
* Invite your child to learn to swim, but keep in mind that it does not eliminate the risk of drowning.
* If your child is missing, check the water first.
* Learn CPR and rescue techniques.
* Do not allow children to play drains or suction devices.
* Always have a first aid kit and emergency contact information handy.
And here are some tips for adults from the National Safety Council:
* Do not enter the water unless you know how to swim.
* Do not swim alone.
* Make sure the body of water matches your skill level.
* If you get caught up in the flow, don’t try to fight it. Float calmly or swim parallel to the shore until you are free.
* Swim in an area monitored by a lifeguard.
* Do not push or jump on others.
* Do not dive into unfamiliar places.
* Never drink alcohol while swimming.
Another common summer danger is excessive heat. The American Red Cross advises you to stay safe when it’s hot outside.
* Do not leave children or pets in the car.
* Continue hydration, but avoid drinks containing caffeine or alcohol.
* Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
* Do not do intense outdoor exercise during the hottest hours of the day.
* If you work outdoors, take frequent breaks.
* Check out family, friends and neighbors who don’t have air conditioning, spend a lot of time alone, or are sensitive to the heat.
If someone has a febrile seizure in their legs or abdomen, take them to a cool place, lightly stretch the affected muscles, and give them 4 ounces of cold water every 15 minutes.
If someone shows signs of heat exhaustion (cold, moist, pale or blushing skin, severe sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness), move to a cool place and take off tight clothing. Loosen and spray with water, or apply a cold, damp cloth or towel to your skin. If you are conscious, ask to drink a small amount of cold water. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Pay attention to the change of state. If you refuse water, vomit, or begin to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1.
Heat stroke is life-threatening. Signs include hot, red skin that may be dry or moist. Changes in consciousness; vomiting and increased body temperature. If anyone shows any signs of heat stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately. If possible, move people to a cool place. Sprinkle or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with a cold wet towel or ice bag.
Pay attention in the fun of summer
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