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Water Safety

Summer is right around the corner as we quickly approach Memorial Day Weekend. Many families will be heading out to lakes, rivers, and backyard pools to enjoy what is regarded in America as the beginning of summer.

Water sports and being in and around water can be a lot of fun. Our family loves to go to the lake on Memorial Day Weekend. Boating, skiing, swimming, and fishing fills the weekend and the majority of our summer.

For something that can be so much fun and is necessary to survive, water can be dangerous and does kill. Per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional death in the United States.

Water hazards people should be aware of:
u2022 Temperature of water can vary wildly from air temperature even in warmer weather
u2022 Hidden currents can pull even the strongest swimmers
u2022 Quarries and reservoirs can be very deep (strip pits, quarry lakes)
u2022 Debris in the water can cause injury while skiing, tubing, or swimming
u2022 Remote water can cause difficulty for first responders arriving to assist
u2022 Murky water makes it difficult to reach people who go under for rescue
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As much fun as this time is there is a lot of responsibility being around bodies of water, especially with our kids. Having kids with varying levels of familiarity with the dangers of being in water, proficiency at swimming, and being around water that is not clear creates several elements we have to protect against.u00a0

We manage how, when, and where we let our kids be without a life jacket. Our kids are not near bodies of water without one. We are especially cautious near murky and dark water. When we are engaging in water sports we make sure they have a life jacket for their size and weight on at all times in and out of the boat. The boat carries life jackets for everyone occupying the boat. The life jackets for younger children are brightly colored to help improve visibility. Life jackets are checked by an adult each time they are put on and taken off to make sure they are worn correctly and to inspect the life jacket for any tears, rips, or broken buckles or straps. We also make sure to have a throw-able floatation device on the boat.

Pools should be gated and kept shut to keep unaccompanied children from accessing the pool. We do allow our kids to not wear life jackets at the pool with appropriate adult supervision. This is normally done when teaching to swim or once they have shown proficiency in swimming.

While it’s quite common to drink alcohol when in social situations, avoid alcohol when boating or participating in water sports. Alcohol slows your mental process, clouds judgment. and also reduces your body temp and can shorten the time you can survive in colder water. According to the United States Coast Guard, 80% of boating accidents involve alcohol.

When done with some caution there is lots of fun that can be had on the water. Get outside and enjoy the weather, family, and friends.

Plan, Prep, Explore

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