Water Safety

House with a pool in the backyard.Summer means swimming and water sports. With all the fun to be had, don’t forget about water safety!

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a life guarded beach, use the buddy system!
  • Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability, do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings, and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming under water or have breath-holding contests.
  • Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
  • If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
  • Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.

Prevent Unsupervised Access to the Water

  • Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub. Safety covers and pool alarms should be added as additional layers of protection.
  • Ensure that pool barriers enclose the entire pool area, are at least 4-feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching and open outward, and away from the pool. The latch should be high enough to be out of a small child’s reach.
  • If you have an above-ground or inflatable pool, remove access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever the pool is not in use.
  • Remove any structures that provide access to the pool, such as outdoor furniture, climbable trees, decorative walls and playground equipment.
  • Keep toys that are not in use away from the pool and out of sight. Toys can attract young children to the pool.

Maintain Constant Supervision

  • Actively supervise kids whenever around the water—even if lifeguards are present. Do not just drop your kids off at the public pool or leave them at the beach—designate a responsible adult to supervise.
  • Always stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions when supervising children around water.

Know What to Do in an Emergency

  • If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
  • If you own a home pool or hot tub, have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
  • Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.

From all of us here at Insurance Advisors, Inc. Have a fun and safe summer in the water!

By: Christine Gaffron

Source: RedCross.org

Heat Stress & Heat Stroke

Be aware of yours and other’s risk for heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and fainting.

To avoid heat stress, you should:MC900217602

  • Drink a glass of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes and at least one gallon each day.
    *Avoid alcohol and caffeine. They both dehydrate the body.
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Take frequent cool showers or baths.
  • If you feel dizzy, weak, or overheated, go to a cool place. Sit or lie down, drink water, and wash your face with cool water. If you don’t feel better soon, get medical help quickly.
  • Work during cooler hours of the day when possible, or distribute the work load evenly throughout the day.

Heat stroke is the most serious heat illness. It happens when the body can’t control its own temperature and its temp rises rapidly. Sweating fails ad the body cannot cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106 degrees F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency care is not given.

Warning signs of heat stroke vary but can include:

  • Red, hot and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness, nausea, confusion, or unconsciousness
  • An extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees F.)

If you suspect someone has heat stroke, follow these instructions.

  • Immediately call for medical attention.
  • Get the person to a cooler area.
  • Cool the person rapidly by immersing him/her in cool water or a cool shower, or by spraying cool water on the individual.
  • Monitor body temperature and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101 – 102 degrees.
  • Do not give the person alcohol to drink.
  • If emergency medical personnel do not arrive quickly, call the hospital ER for further assistance.