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10 Water Safety Tips

Submitted by on July 11, 2013 – 12:00 pmNo Comment

10 Tips to Staying Safe in and Around Water

With hot and dry summers, many Texans enjoy spending their time cooling off by the pool, lake or beach. However, every day, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning and of these 10, two are children aged 14 or younger according to the CDC. With summer upon us, First Choice ER Executive Medical Director, Dr. Mike Muzzarelli offers 10 tips to staying safe in and around water.

1.  Never leave children unattended around any body of water. According to, an adult should be within arm’s reach to provide active supervision.

2.  Teach your kids to never go near the water unless an adult is present. To take extra precaution, secure your pool or hot tub with barriers such as a locked fence or gate.

3.  Make sure children have proper floatation devices – “floaties” do not count. According to the United States Coast Guard, a life jacket is the best option to ensure a child’s safety. To check for a good fit, pick the child up by the shoulder of the life jacket. If it fits correctly, the child’s chin and ears will not slip through.

4.  Only swim in areas that are designated for swimming. If you are going the beach, the ocean requires different swimming skills, so it is best to learn how to swim in the turf beforehand.

5.  Always use the buddy system in lakes or oceans – this includes adults. If your buddy needs help, do not attempt to rescue them. Instead, alert the lifeguard that your buddy is in trouble. This system looks out for both you and your friend’s safety.

6.  Avoid Alcohol. According to the American Red Cross, alcohol impairs your judgment, balance and coordination, affects swimming and diving skills, and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.

7.  Never dive into the water, especially lakes and oceans, where you do not know the depth. The American Red Cross reported that a minimum of 9 feet of water for headfirst diving is required.

8.  Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts. Avoid swimming in harsh weather conditions such as rain and thunderstorms.

9.  Keep a phone nearby in case you have to call 9-1-1. If at home, purchase appropriate equipment such as reaching or throwing gear, a first aid kit and life jackets in case of an emergency.

10.  Always read and obey posted rules and signs. At the beach, pay special attention to beach signs or color-coded flags. If you’re unsure of what the signs mean or have other questions regarding the oceans conditions, ask a lifeguard for assistance.

First Choice Emergency Room is the nation’s leading freestanding emergency room system and serves local communities across Texas. Its facilities are innovative, freestanding and fully equipped emergency rooms with state-of-the-art diagnostic technology (CT Scanners, Ultrasound, Digital X-ray) and on-site labs. With five locations in Dallas, Plano residents are accommodated by the conveniently located facility on Preston Road.



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