Stay afloat with these swim safety tips

Summer isn’t summer without swimming, but days at the beach or pool don’t come without risks. Each day in the US, approximately 10 people die in accidental drownings , and for kids between ages one and four, it is the leading cause of unintentional injury death. Of people who seek emergency care after a near drowning, over 50% require a lengthy hospital stay or long-term care. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to ensure that summer fun doesn’t end in tragedy for you or your loved ones. Keep these safety tips in mind on your next swimming outing.

Learn to swim
Learning to swim by taking swim classes gives kids and adults the tools they need to practice safety in the water and to react swiftly in the case of an emergency. Even babies can get in the water and practice the basics of swimming.

If you haven’t learned to swim, keep in mind that it’s never too late. There are plenty of swimming classes available for people of all ages, so take the important step of learning basics swimming skills.

Supervise children when they swim
Children need to be constantly supervised while they swim. Do not rely on lifeguards or flotation devices to keep your children safe in the water. Children can drown in just a few seconds, so watch them carefully.

If you are with a group, make sure one adult is always specifically in charge of watching the children. In a group, it is easy for parents to all think someone else is supervising, when in reality, no one is paying close attention.

Avoid swimming alone
Swimming calls for the buddy system. Even if you are an experienced swimmer, it is important to have someone who can help if an emergency occurs. Whenever possible, choose to swim in an area with lifeguards.

Whatever your summertime emergency, West Hills Hospital & Medical Center is here to provide the emergency care you need. Our hospital in West Hills is available 24 hours per day for all of your family’s emergency needs. To learn more about our services, please call (818) 676-4321.

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