Avoiding Drowning Accidents in South Carolina
Spring and summer months bring warmer weather, outdoor cookouts, and pool parties. Whether you plan to spend the upcoming 4th of July weekend out on a boat, on the beach or lakeside, or simply hanging by the pool, it’s important to be safe.
Basic knowledge of pool and water safety to help reduce the likelihood of a drowning or water related accident.
With your safety in mind, we offer you the following tips to reduce the likelihood that you or a loved one are involved in an accident.
- Learn how to swim and enroll your children in swim lessons. Basic swimming skills can reduce the likelihood of a water related accident.
- Wear a life jacket. According to the CDC, in 88% of boat related drowning deaths, the victim was not wearing a life jacket. To avoid violating South Carolina law, make sure that each life jacket has a whistle handy.
- Limit alcohol use. While we all understand the importance of not drinking and driving, it is important to understand that even if you do not plan on driving anywhere, alcohol can impact your ability to perform about any function. Statistically, alcohol is involved in up to 70% of water related deaths, nearly a quarter of water related ER visits, and 20% of boating related deaths. Alcohol influences balance, coordination and judgment, and it’s effects are heightened by sun exposure and heat.
- Remember that an accident can occur anywhere even when you are careful. A wet pool deck can lead to cause you to slip resulting in trauma including spinal injuries, or TBI. Similarly, an accident can happen in a split second, so be mindful of both young and older loved ones.
- Use the Buddy System and Stay Vigilant. Don’t participate in a water related activity by yourself, and always keep an eye on your children. Drowning is the second most prevalent cause of unintentional injury and death for children between the ages of 1 to 14.
- Learn how to respond in the event of an emergency. Take a CPR class offered by a local American Red Cross. This class will teach you how to help save a life as well as introduce you to other safety tips.
- Take measures to safety proof your personal swimming pool. Taking advantage of pool safety equipment including a pool cover, a pool fence, and removing toys and floatation devices from the pool deck are great ways to keep small children away from falling into the water to avoid drowning accidents.
- Recognize the signs of drowning. A drowning can be a terrifying thing for a parent to witness, especially if they don’t know what to do, or don’t realize the child is, in fact, drowning. A child that is drowning can sometimes be mistaken for a child that is playing or roughhousing, and sometimes the child won’t be able to call out for help or let you know what’s wrong. Most drowning victims only struggle for about 60 seconds before sinking below the water’s surface for good.
- Monitor pool equipment. The use of specially designed drain covers, safety vacuum release systems, filter pumps, and pressure venting mechanisms can reduce the risk of entrapment.
- In the event of an emergency, dial 9-1-1.
Abiding by these tips can go a long way towards ensuring that you have a safe and relaxing summer.