TRENTON, NJ – Due to the increased opportunity to swim in pools, lakes, rivers, streams, and the ocean during the summer months, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is today reminding residents to practice water safety to avoid drowning. Ensuring your family is aware of basic water safety tips can be the difference between life and death.
“It is very concerning to see the number of drownings that have already taken place this summer,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “We are reminding residents to adhere to these safety tips to ensure you and your family remain safe while swimming or near water. We want your summer to be an enjoyable one. Put safety first before you swim.”
The following American Red Cross swimming safety tips can help to keep you and your family safe when participating in water activities.
Practice Water Safety
· Ensure that everyone in your family learns to swim well by enrolling them in age-appropriate learn-to-swim courses.
· Swim only in areas that are designated for swimming with buoys and ropes and are supervised by lifeguards.
· Keep children under constant active supervision and remain free from distractions. Ensure that inexperienced swimmers stay within arm’s reach.
· Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
· Do not rely upon water wings or inflatable toys; they can enable swimmers to go beyond their ability or suddenly deflate, which could lead to a drowning situation.
· If a child is missing, always check the water first! Seconds count in preventing death or disability from drowning.
· Fence pools and spas with adequate barriers, including four-sided fencing.
· Learn swimming and water safety survival skills.
· Life jackets are not just for boating. Children and inexperienced swimmers should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.
· Always swim in a lifeguarded area.
A person who is drowning has the greatest chance of survival if these steps are followed:
· If present, always alert the lifeguard in the event of an emergency.
· Recognize the signs of someone in trouble and shout for help.
· Rescue and remove the person from the water (without putting yourself in danger).
· Call emergency medical services (EMS).
· Begin rescue breathing and CPR.
· Use an AED if available and transfer care to advanced life support.
Swimming in the ocean, lakes, rivers, and streams can be safe at designated swimming areas that are protected by lifeguards. Swimming in a natural body of water is different from swimming in a pool. More skills and energy are required for natural water environments because of cold water and air temperatures, currents, waves and other conditions—and these conditions can change due to weather.
If Someone Is in Trouble in the Water:
· Reach out to the person using any available object that will extend your reach, such as a pole, an oar, a tree branch, a belt or a towel. Brace yourself to keep from losing your balance.
· Throw anything that will provide the victim support, such as a foam cooler or inner tube. A floating object with a line attached is best so you can pull the person to safety.
· If the water is shallow and calm, put on a life jacket, wade into the water and reach toward
· the person with a pole, branch, life jacket or other object.
· Do not enter the water if a current or waves make wading dangerous.
· Keep yourself safe. In most cases, only trained professionals should enter the water to perform a rescue.