National Water Safety Month: Ensuring Safe and Fun Times in the Water

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By Rebecca Barnes, Publisher Prince William Living
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As the weather heats up and people start flocking to the water, it’s essential to remember the importance of water safety. May is National Water Safety Month, a time to educate and raise awareness about the risks associated with water activities and how to prevent them.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional deaths worldwide. In the United States alone, around ten people die from drowning daily. These statistics highlight the need to prioritize water safety measures and ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time in and around the water.
One of the critical ways to prevent drowning is by teaching swimming and water safety skills. Parents can enroll their children in swimming lessons and educate them about pool rules and how to stay safe while swimming. Swimming lessons aren’t just for kids, though; adults can also benefit from them.
Another important aspect of water safety is boating safety. The US Coast Guard reported 613 boating fatalities in 2019, with the majority of these accidents caused by operator error, alcohol use, or lack of safety equipment. Wearing life jackets, avoiding alcohol while boating, and taking boater safety courses can significantly reduce the risk of accidents.
It’s also crucial to ensure that pools and other water features are appropriately maintained and secured. For example, pool owners should make sure their pools are fenced, have safety covers, and have appropriate safety equipment, such as life rings and safety ropes.

Always remember the SAFER acronym: 

  • Swim with a buddy and designate a Water Watcher 
  • Acquire CPR and first aid training 
  • Find and reduce water hazards 
  • Enroll in swim lessons to improve your skills 
  • Respond fast and call 911 for emergencies 

National Water Safety Month is a reminder that safety should always be a top priority when participating in water activities. Following basic safety guidelines and educating ourselves and our loved ones can prevent accidents and enjoy a fun and safe summer in the water. For more information about water safety, visit https://nwsm.phta.org

Rebecca Barnes is the Publisher of Prince William Living magazine and Brides & Weddings magazine. She is a lifelong resident of Prince William County and a volunteer with OWL VFD. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, being a Grandma, visiting Walt Disney World, blogging at Sightseeing Sidekick, reading, and sleeping. 

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