Summer water safety reminders
If you're swimming in Atlanta's lakes this summer, take water safety seriously.
By Kiona Smith-Strickland
If you're heading to the lake, ocean, or swimming pool this summer, keep water safety in mind. Drowning is the second leading cause of death in children younger than 15, according to the Center for Disease Control, and nearly half of these victims die within four yards of a parent. Watch your children closely if they're playing in or near the water. Drowning takes less than a minute, and victims can't call out for help. Teach kids to look out for each other and be sure that they understand the importance of water safety.
Whether you're swimming with kids or adults this summer, make sure that everybody in the water is a strong swimmer or wears a life jacket. Watch everyone in the group closely for signs of trouble, and remember that drowning in real life looks very different from drowning on TV. Here's what to look for.
If you see any of these drowning signs, get to the person quickly. You may have only seconds to recognize danger and rescue your drowning friend or family member. Because alertness and quick reactions are so important, keep alcohol consumption moderate.
This is particularly true if you're boating this summer. If you wouldn't drink and drive a car, you shouldn't drink and drive a boat. Boating accidents are a common cause of drowning, and alcohol is often a factor. Make sure that everyone on board wears a life jacket just in case, and follow all Coast Guard boating safety rules.
Boating, swimming and other water activities are great ways to cool off and have fun this summer. Just remember to put water safety first and check out your local swim school if you or your family members need lessons. In general, children who are at least five years old will benefit from swimming lessons. Consult your Atlanta-area doctor if you'd like to enroll a child between the ages of one and four.
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