General Water Safety
This page contains general water safety information—tips, techniques, and guidelines that can be applied universally when we are in, on, and around the water. Since water makes up about 70% of the surface of our planet, and since, according to the World Health Organization, about 388,000 drowning fatalities occur each year worldwide, this page should be shared with everyone.
Here is a checklist of safe places to swim.
By the way, drowning statistics in the United States are as follows (according to the Centers of Disease Control):
- From 2005-2009, an average of 3,533 fatalities due to nonboat-related accidental drowning occurred annually (about 10 deaths per day).
- About 1 in every 5 individuals who drowns is a child under the age of 14. For every child who dies from drowning, another 5 receive hospital care for nonfatal submersion injuries. These nonfatal injuries can result in long-term problems, including memory loss, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning.
- Nearly 80% of all drowning victims are male.
- Children 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rate. In 2009, among children 1 to 4 who died of unintentional injuries, more than 30% died from drowning. In the age range from 1 to 14, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths behind motor vehicle crashes.
- From 2005 to 2009, the fatal drowning rate of African American children from 5 to 11 years of age was 3 times higher than that of white children in the same age range.
- For more information from the CDC, go to Staying Safe In and Around the Water.
Water Safety Tips
Some general water safety tips can be found by following the links below:
- Health & safety tips for the water (ARC)
- HTE water safety tips (HTE Kids News)
- National water safety program (US Army Corps of Engineers)
- Pool rules: old school or true (Birmingham Doctors)
- Preventing home liability (Home Insurance) - Thanks to Mrs. Henderson’s class of Montgomery Charter School for their support (and for this great link in particular). It is important to be aware of homeowner’s insurance as a part of a water safety plan around the home.
- Save Swim Defense (Boy Scouts)
- Top water safety tips (iVillage.co.uk)
- Water safety essentials (Ocean Style)
- YMCA water safety tips (YMCA)
The following links focus on particular water safety guidelines and strategies:
- Buddying up to swim
- Dangerous “toos” (too tired, too much sun, too far from safety, too hazardous or cold, etc.)
- Float planning
- Life jackets
- Sun safety
- Action steps for sun safety (EPA)
- Be safe in the sun (American Cancer Society)
- Outdoor sun safety guide (Affordable Lamps) - Thanks to Liz Stanley for this excellent link
- Skin cancer prevention (CDC)
- Sun safety (Kids Health)
- Sun safety for kids (sunsafetyforkids.org)
- Sun safety tips for your skin (Web MD)
Other water safety pages contain specific information about water safety at home, at lakes and rivers, or at the beach. Be sure to check out these pages as well.
Water Safety Skills
- Ice rescue
- Reaching assists with equipment
- Reaching assists with no equipment
- Small craft rescues and assists
- Throwing assists
- Line/rope rescues
- ResQ Disc rescue
- Ring buoy rescues
- Scouts practice throwing past the victim (maerdryx) - shows why there is a buoy at the end of the rope
- Throw bag rescues
- Throwing objects without a line
- Wading assist
- HELP/huddle/cold water survival
- Ice self-help
- Life jackets
- Survival floating
- Swimming pool self-help