Swimming is one of summer’s favorite pastimes. There’s nothing better on a hot summer day than cooling off in your favorite swimming hole – whether it’s a lake or a backyard pool. As an emergency services provider, Community Care Ambulance (CCA) wants to help everyone stay safe this summer, so we’ve gathered information about water safety and tips to prevent water-related emergencies.
Drowning and Other Water Risks
Drowning is the most common cause of water-related injury or death. You may have heard “it only takes a moment” and that’s true. In just a few seconds, a child can fall into a pool or slip under the water. Unlike how the movies portray drowning – with people waving their arms and yelling – it’s typically silent.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death for people of all ages, and the second leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 14 years. More children aged 1-4 years die from drowning than any other cause of death except birth defects.
Diving into shallow water is another water-related injury that can have life-altering effects. In fact, diving is the fourth leading cause of spinal cord injury for men and the fifth for women, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center.
How to Prevent Drowning Learning to swim and following established regulations for PFD (personal flotation devices) are the most important ways to prevent drowning. In Ohio, children younger the age of 10 must wear a PFD while on a boat even if they know how to swim. And everyone needs a PFD if participating in water sports like tubing or skiing. Be sure to select the right size and type of life jacket and make sure it is labeled as Coast Guard approved.
In addition, swimming in lakes and streams pose different risks than a pool. There are currents, debris and boats. The ground underneath is uneven, and can you experience sudden drop-offs.
When children are around, the best way to prevent drowning is to have attentive and vigilant adults within arm’s reach.
What to do if you see someone drowning Follow these steps:
Recognize the signs of someone in trouble and shout for help.
Rescue and remove the person from the water (without putting yourself in danger).
Ask someone to call 911. If alone, give 2 minutes of care, then call.
Begin rescue breathing and CPR.
Use an AED if available and transfer care to advanced life support.
We hope you feel better prepared for the summer swimming season! CCA is one of the largest medical transportation organizations in northeast Ohio. We are a non-profit 501c3 serving Akron, Cleveland and surrounding cities including Andover, Ashtabula, Bedford, Chardon, Concord, Geneva, Lake County, Madison, Middlefield, Munson Township, Oakwood Village, Portage County and Warrensville Heights. You can learn about other ways Community Care Ambulance helps our communities – including providing healthcare screenings and CPR instruction. If you have a health-based event or idea that aligns with our mission, please call us at 833-698-5684.