Splash into Summer: Enjoy the water while staying safe

Many Mainers wait for it all year: summer weather. As the warmer months approach and we enjoy outdoor activities near lakes, rivers, and beaches, it's important to prioritize water safety. Drowning and boating accidents can happen quickly, but with proper knowledge and precautions, we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

Drowning Prevention

  • Learn to swim and teach your children to swim as well. Enroll in age-appropriate swimming lessons with a certified instructor.
  • Always swim with a buddy; never swim alone.
  • Ensure active supervision of children around water. Assign a "water watcher" to monitor kids in and around the water, particularly during gatherings and parties.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption while swimming or supervising swimmers, as it impairs judgment and reaction time.
  • Wear life jackets when appropriate, especially for inexperienced swimmers or in deep water.

Boating Safety

  • Check weather conditions before heading out on the water. Avoid boating in stormy or dangerous conditions.
  • Ensure all passengers wear properly fitted life jackets. In many states, children under a certain age are legally required to wear life jackets.
  • Maintain a safe speed and keep a proper lookout for other boats, swimmers, and hazards.
  • Be cautious of carbon monoxide poisoning. Avoid swimming near exhaust vents and maintain fresh air circulation in enclosed areas.
  • Always carry a means of communication, such as a cell phone, marine radio, or satellite communication device, to call for help if needed.

"Water-related injuries and accidents can be devastating, but they're often preventable. By following basic water safety guidelines and staying vigilant, we can significantly reduce risks and ensure that everyone enjoys their time on the water," explains Joseph Babbitt, MD, emergency medicine physician, Northern Light CA Dean Hospital.

By following these essential water safety tips and practices, we can ensure a fun and safe summer on the water. Remember, awareness and preparation are key to preventing accidents and enjoying our favorite aquatic activities responsibly.

For other summer safety tips check out this bike safety article: When bicycling, make sure your helmet fits properly! - Northern Light Health