As swimming season approaches, make water safety a priority

This Monday marks Memorial Day — a time when we pay tribute to the men and women who died during U.S. military service. At 3 p.m., please pause in whatever you’re doing for a moment of silence, to mark the sacrifice others have made for our freedom.

Monday is also the holiday when pools traditionally open for the summer  Life-Preserver swimming season. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 10 drownings occur almost every day in the United States. Of those drowning victims, two are children aged 14 or younger. And 347 more people die every year in boating-related accidents. 

With that in mind, please take a few minutes and review some safety tips before you or your children dive in the water.  

1.) Don’t just learn to swim – learn to swim well, and make sure children do, too.

2.) Set groundrules before kids jump in the pool

3.) Beware of peer pressure. Children often push themselves too hard trying to impress their friends, and exhaustion in the water can be deadly.

4.) Learn CPR, and learn to use an AED (automated external defibrillator)

5.) Don’t mix alcohol and watersports. According to the CDC, “More than half of drowning deaths in people older than 15 occur outside of pools, and alcohol is involved in 70% of cases.”

6.) Be aware of the location of rescue devices such as life preservers.

7.) NEVER leave a child unattended in a bath, pool or other body of water. That means putting your smartphone or book away when you’re poolside with the little ones — even if there’s a lifeguard on duty. 

 For more safety tips, visit The American Red Cross.