FHA Warns – Stay Safe On The Water

Submitted. We are lucky to live in a beautiful part of the world with abundant access to rivers, lakes, ocean beaches and backyard and community pools. Whether it’s swimming or boating, enjoying time with family and friends around the water is a great way to spend warm summer days. Unfortunately, sometimes these happy summer outings end in a preventable tragedy.

Approximately 80 people die each year in British Columbia as a result of drowning. Drowning can happen fast, sometimes in less than 2 minutes after a person’s head is under water. And for every drowning death there are several more people who are injured in near drowning incidents that can result in severe brain injury and long-term disability.

“Swimming is a lot of fun, but drowning is a real danger,” says Marcus Lem, Medical Health Officer for Fraser Health. “By following a few safety tips, you can make sure your next water experience is a good one.”

Swim safe and don’t be a statistic:

· Never swim alone. Always swim with a buddy.

· Children require constant supervision around pools. A child can drown in seconds in only a few inches of water.

· Never swim farther or in deeper water than you can handle.

· Never dive into unknown water. Underwater objects may appear deeper than they are.

· If you own a pool, install a fence around the pool with a gate that cannot be opened by a child. Also child proof or lock doors that open directly to a back yard pool area.

· Learn life saving techniques including artificial respiration at your local community centre or pool.

HealthLink BC, Safety Tips for Swimmers – click here.

Be vigilant out on the water:

· When boating, always wear a lifejacket or PFD (personal flotation device) and carry the required safety equipment in your boat.

· Get licensed – by law, all boaters need proof of operator competency.

· Get trained – training gives you knowledge to make smart choices when on the water.

· Keep an eye on the weather – patterns can change quickly and without warning.

· Avoid alcohol and drug-related injuries. Do not operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Cover photo from: http://mangoreischool-rm7-2011.blogspot.sg/p/remember.html

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