Safety in the water this summer

2017-11-22 06:00

ONE of the hazards of summer is the number of youngster who get into trouble in water - in the sea, dams or swimming pools.

Sadly the number of drowning incidents will increase from now on and during the festive season.

Natasha Kriel, an advanced life support paramedic at ER24’s South Metro branch in the Western Cape issued the following safety tips for pools.

•Secure your pool area with appropriate barriers which cannot be pushed down by little children.

•Never leave children unsupervised near water.

•Stay within arm’s length from little children as they submerge very quickly - especially if the water is murky.

•Make sure children don’t play rough in the pool and jump on top of one another.

•It is important that adults who supervise must be able to swim as well.

•Remember that anyone, including people who can swim, are at risk of drowning

•Avoid taking risks and being overconfident.

“One of the biggest dangers is when children get into trouble and family members jump in to assist, but they can’t swim either, and we end up with mass casualties. This happens at beaches and dams quite often,” said Natasha.

Safety tips at the beach:

•Swim where there are lifeguards on duty and during lifeguard patrolling hours. It will usually be from 10am to 6pm.

•Make sure you are seen by lifeguards in the water. Don’t swim outside the designated swimming area, i.e. outside the flags.

•Swimmers need to watch out for surfers and surfers need to watch out for swimmers.

•Don’t drink alcohol on the beach. This is illegal and extremely dangerous. Alcohol dulls your senses which in turn makes it difficult to swim. You don’t realise that you may be hypothermic and that your limbs don’t work as well as they should.

• Never swim alone.

“ It is vital that you learn first aid and CPR. You never know when you may need to assist someone in need,” said Kriel.

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