Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Sheriff’s Corner: Practice good water safety this summer

As we enter swimming season at lakes and local pools, the Denton County Sheriff’s Office wants to emphasize the importance of having fun while staying safe by practicing good water safety.

Drowning is fast and silent and can happen in as little as 20-60 seconds. It is NOT like the movies with splashing and screaming. While this information may seem redundant to some, it is a crucial reminder that drownings don’t discriminate; it can happen to anyone, regardless of swimming ability. Most drownings occur when you least expect it; in fact, 70 percent of drowning victims weren’t anticipated to be in or near the water at that time.

The U.S. Coast Guard reports that 85% of drowning victims in boating accidents last year weren’t wearing life jackets. Although trendy, cute life jackets may be preferred, they may not be sufficient in a life-or-death situation, so it’s essential to use a US Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Additionally, always check the weather conditions before heading out and brush up on boater education.

According to the American Red Cross, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death following motor vehicle crashes.

  • Children younger than one-year-old are more likely to drown at home.
  • For children younger than 5, 87% of drowning fatalities occur in home pools or hot tubs.
  • Most incidents occur in pools owned by family, friends, or relatives.
  • Those between 5 and 17 years old are more likely to drown in natural water, such as a pond or a lake.

Even though you can take all the safety measures and protection, these incidents can still occur. That’s why it’s crucial to have multiple layers of protection in place, as individual layers can fail: gates can open, locks can break, supervisors can become distracted, and it only takes seconds for an accident to happen. It’s always a great idea to be overly prepared. Learning CPR skills can make a real difference. Performing CPR could save someone’s life in the time it takes for paramedics to arrive.

Swimming pools and lakes are fantastic places to have fun, create memories, and enjoy the great outdoors in the summer heat. However, it is important to take the necessary precautions and educate yourself and your family. Know the statistics, implement multiple layers of protection, educate yourself, teach your children, and REMAIN VIGILANT to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable swimming season.

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