Bridge over Troubled Waters
Summer is almost here, and this weekend, many of us in central Illinois will kick our air on as temps soar to the upper 80’s. Bleh. Don’t get me wrong, I love the summer, but as a person with unruly curly hair, humidity is not my friend! Typically, I try to find the nearest pool… not only is it relaxing, but more importantly, it doesn’t really matter what your hair looks like.
While I am sure they have different reasons, I am not the only person that seeks refuge in a pool. Many families plan to hit the water this summer to be the heat with their children. According to a recent ARC poll, nearly two-thirds of families with small children plan on swimming in areas without lifeguards this summer, and many of them don’t know the right thing to do in water emergencies. Here is the poll in a nutshell.
So, if you aren’t quite sure what you should do in a water emergency, here are a few thing to remember…
When you a see a swimmer that needs help:
- Shout for help
- Reach or throw the person a rescue or flotation device and tell them to grab it
- Call 9-1-1 if needed
People think they should enter the water to save someone, but often this endangers the life of the rescuer.
Other signs of a swimmer in trouble include:
- Treading water and waving an arm
- Doggie paddling with no forward progress
- Hanging onto a safety line
- Floating on their back and waving their arms
- Arms extended side or front, pressing down for support, but making no forward progress
- Positioned vertically in the water, but not kicking legs
- Underwater for more than 30 seconds
- Floating at surface, face-down, for more than 30 seconds
Now that you have a little knowledge, it wouldn’t hurt to get a bit more. Red Cross swimming lessons help people develop skills and water safety behaviors that help people be more comfortable and safe when they are in, on and around the water. The Red Cross encourages all household members to enroll in age-appropriate water orientation and Learn-to-Swim programs. To find classes for your family, contact your local aquatic facility and ask for American Red Cross swimming programs.