Summer is here and it’s the perfect time to remind Georgians of the importance of water safety. Last year, more than 200 Georgians drowned while swimming, boating, playing near water and bathing. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death for children 1 to 4 years of age. The SPLASH program, a Georgia initiative, aims to greatly reduce the number of these deaths and injuries.
SPLASH tips for enjoying Georgia’s beaches, lakes and rivers this summer include:
• Supervision – Designate an adult to watch children at all times. Do not assume someone else is watching.
• Prevention – Wear personal flotation devices (PFD or life jacket), install fencing around pools, and use drain covers in hot tubs and pools.
• Look before you leap – Never jump into water without knowing how deep it is and what is below the surface.
• Arm’s Length – Adults should be arm’s length to children in water, and safety tools such as hooks should be nearby at all times.
• Swim Lessons – Knowing how to swim greatly reduces the chance of drowning. Classes are often available through the Red Cross or YMCA.
• Have a Water Safety Plan – Know what to do during an emergency.