Staying Cool And Keeping Safe On The Water


By Dr. Victoria Kincaid, St. Luke’s Resident Physician

With the extremely high temperatures we have been experiencing, it is no surprise that people have been flocking to the water to cool down. From backyard pools to mountain lakes, the best way to enjoy these hot days is splashing around in the cool water. As enticing and fun as the water escape can be, it is also important to remember good safety practices in and around water.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks drowning as the No. 2 cause of death in children ages 1-4, and the No. 2 cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 1-14. And kids are not the only ones at risk, with an estimated 11 people dying from drowning injuries per day!

The water can be a dangerous place, so it is important we stay safe and know what to do in the case of an emergency on the water.

Here are some tips from the CDC:

One of the most important safety precautions you can take for you and your family is to make sure that everyone has learned how to swim. The Blaine County Recreation District and Wood River Community YMCA offer swim lessons and there are private swim instructors in our community, as well.

Anyone who cannot safely swim should always be supervised and wear an approved flotation device while in deeper water.

Make swimming and water activities a social event: always take a friend or partner.

Make sure you wear a life jacket when you are on a boat or water ski.

Protect your children from the water: make sure they are never near water unsupervised and put up a fence or gate around your home’s pool so your loved one can’t fall in accidentally.

Watch for currents! While rivers, like the Snake River, may look calm, there are strong undercurrents, so make sure you are always close to your boat or have a life jacket on.

Don’t be in or near the water in a thunderstorm. Watch for dark stormy clouds and get out of the water if there are any signs of thunder or lightning.

If you see someone struggling in the water, call for help and look for a flotation device you can throw to the person. DO NOT jump in after them. We don’t want to make two victims out of one.

Keep these tips in mind and enjoy the water this summer, safely.


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