By Alyssa Serrani
It’s summer, and it’s hot. With temperatures rapidly rising, more people are turning to the relief of the cool waters of their local swimming pools or going on vacation to the lake or beach. However, there are certain risks you take each time you venture out into the water. Rather than letting this detract from your plans, here are some things to be aware of so you can have a fun, safe summer.
Unfortunately, drowning poses a threat to many children (and some adults) when swimming. If there is no lifeguard on duty, it is your responsibility to watch your child. If the child is too young to swim, make sure they have some sort of floating device and stay with them at all times. According to webMD.com, if your child or someone else is drowning, seek help immediately. If there is no one around, get them out of the water yourself. Check their breathing and pulse and, if there is no pulse, proceed to perform CPR. Next, call 911 and seek medical attention as quickly as possible.
Dry and Secondary Drowning
While drowning may seem like the most obvious water hazard, most people are unaware that the risk does not necessarily end once your child is out of the water. According to webMD.com, dry drowning is when a person (usually a child) starts drowning hours after being submerged water. It occurs when water gets in the mouth or nose and causes a spasm in the airway, resulting in difficulty breathing. Secondary drowning happens when water gets in the lungs and causes inflammation and swelling. This can occur as long as 24 hours after being in the water and can result in difficulty breathing and, in some cases, death. Thankfully, this is a rare occurrence and only accounts for 1-2% of drowning incidents. Symptoms to watch for include: coughing, chest pain, difficulty breathing and feeling fatigued. As with regular drowning, if you believe your child is experiencing dry or secondary drowning, seek medical help immediately.
Diving and Other Accidents
Diving can be a risk for people of all ages, and has been the cause of many injuries in the past. Sometimes pools are too shallow for diving and divers get hurt on impact with the water. To prevent this, check the depth of the pool and see that it is compatible with your or your child’s height and weight. Additionally, it is also possible for people to slip and fall by the poolside or on the slides. Running or playing in these areas increases the risk of injury. Make sure to supervise your children and tell them to go slow around the pool ledge and going up the slide. Keeping your children cautious and controlled can significantly decrease the risk of poolside accidents.