Sheriff Rick Meyer: Be safe while enjoying water activities

JACKSON CO. – Summer is in full swing and with temperatures higher than normal, people are anxious to cool off by visiting a pool, boating on a lake or river, and taking part in other water-related activities.

Sheriff Rick Meyer

“Pools, rivers, lakes, and streams are a source of enjoyment and fun, but also pose dangers that everyone should be aware of,” said Sheriff Meyer.  “Nationally, we have already heard several tragic stories of people drowning. I want to make sure our residents are well-informed about water safety so that everyone can safely enjoy the water.”

According to the National Safety Council, on average, about 10 people die from drowning every day in the United States. Three-quarters of drowning incidents for children under age 15 occur in residential locations.

Drowning deaths peak among one and two-year-olds, but drowning is the second leading preventable cause of death through age 15.

If you have a pool at your home, make sure it’s surrounded by a fence and a locked gate so that young children are unable to access it.

Here are some water-safety tips from the American Red Cross and NSC:

  • Don’t go into the water if you can’t swim. Swim lessons are available for all ages.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Supervise children when they’re in the water. The best practice is for adults to assume this responsibility by working short shifts.
  • Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket appropriate for your weight and size. Always wear a life jacket while boating even if you know how to swim.
  • Learn CPR and be aware of safe rescue techniques.
  • Don’t jump in the water to save a friend. Go get help. You can also throw out a life preserver or other object that floats.
  • Only swim where lifeguards are on duty. However, parents should still keep an eye on children even with lifeguards present.
  • When visiting a water park, make sure you are tall enough and old enough before going on water rides. Don’t run – wet surfaces are slippery.
  • Don’t dunk or push others. Don’t play breath-holding games.
  • Be aware that rivers and lakes have currents and are very different from pools.
  • Never consume alcohol when swimming, enjoying a hot tub or operating a watercraft, such as a boat or jet ski.

“Summer is lots of fun and swimming, boating and other water activities add to the enjoyment,” said Sheriff Meyer. “Have a great time on the water, but please be safe out there.”