By Ashley Roberts
We Floridians thrive on summer. We live for the longer days spent being outside, enjoying the water whether it be in a pool or one of our beautiful springs or coastal waterways, braving new experiences, and most importantly, strengthening relationships with our families by making memories that will last a lifetime. Because summer sparks new adventures, it is necessary to take precautions to ensure that you and your loved ones have a safe summer that becomes a cherished memory.
According to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control in April, from 2005 to 2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States – about 10 deaths per day. An additional 332 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents. About 1 in 5 people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger.”
It is quite evident that water safety is a huge issue, and the best way to combat tragedy is readiness. Below are three of the best ways to take action and be prepared for a safe and happy summer:
- Be aware of your surroundings. So many times, negligence leads to accidents. If you are anywhere near a body of water, keep an eye on the people are around you. A person can drown in a mere two inches of water. If you are paying attention, you will be able to act fast in the event of a mishap and possibly save an event from becoming fatal.
- Put young children and weak swimmers in swimming lessons. If nothing else, this could help make a person or child more comfortable being in or around water, thus eliminating panic and possibly making them have more control of the situation. On the other hand, upon completion of lessons, they could be excellent swimmers, eliminating most concerns with accidental drowning.
- Take a class and learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation: Better known as CPR, being certified could help save a life. When it comes to water safety, every second counts. If you could act fast, you could potentially not only save a life, but also lessen the damage done by lack of oxygen flow throughout the body. To become certified, you can visit redcross.org and follow the link to find a class locally here in Tallahassee. Classes occur regularly and prices begin at $70. This could be a good thing to do with a spouse or even as a whole family so that everyone can be prepared.
As much as we at the Tallahassee Fire Department would like to join you at your cook-outs and swim parties this summer, we don’t want to do so under grave circumstances. So please do us and yourselves a favor – stay alert, stay prepared and have an amazing and safe summer.