‘Tis the season for swimming — pools are opening up in the area and lakes are beginning to warm up.
Although swimming is a fun and healthy activity for many children (and adults!) it also comes with some danger. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about ten people die every day from unintentional drowning — many of which are children.
As grim as these statistics are, with proper education and preparation, you can make sure the swimmers in your life enjoy their summer in a safe way.
The YMCA and JCC of Greater Toledo provided HLN with a few tips to stay safe while swimming, and they also offer summer programs to teach kids how to swim and be safe around water. The Y is offering its annual Splash program June 16-20 in eight different locations. It’s free and open to children six months old to 12 years old. It’ll be followed by a Splash after-party!
The Y also offers year-round swimming lessons to people of all ages. Learning to swim is one of the first steps to avoiding drowning situations, so I encourage all to take advantage of these classes.
Another swimming hazard many are unaware of is secondary drowning, which happens when someone inhales a small amount of water and later drowns, even if they’re nowhere near water. The fluid they inhale acts as an irritant in the lungs, causing them to create their own fluids, called pulmonary edema. A person can drown in their own bodily fluids if they are unaware of what is happening.
If you or your child inhales a small amount of water, it’s important to know the warning signs of secondary drowning. These include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Extreme tiredness
- Behavioral changes
If you or our child exhibit any of these symptoms after being around water, visit the emergency room. It could save your life!