The Doctors: Summer Water Safety
Fun in the sun throughout the summer often means spending a day around water. Whether you’re riding waves by the ocean, relaxing on the beach, or spending a day on the boat, it’s easy to take simple safety precautions. Find out about Lifeguard Beach Safety, CPR training, and Life Jacket Safety.
The Drs: Lifeguard Beach Safety
You’ve probably seen lifeguards working on the beach (or at least in Baywatch). But The Doctors got Los Angeles County lifeguard Mike Murphy to share some beach safety advice.
- Ask about flags. Lifeguards use a flag system to designate safe vs unsafe swimming areas and water conditions.
- Avoid rip currents. Swimmers might seek out areas with calm waves. But despite its appearances, this can actually be a sign of dangerous rip currents and deep water.
- Boogie board with fins and a leash. Fins help you move through the water, while the leash keeps you from losing your board.
- Ask a lifeguard or call 911 in an emergency. Lifeguards often have basic medical training.
The Doctors: Life Jacket Safety
What about taking your boat out on the lake or river in the summertime? “The #1 thing that you need to do to protect yourself and your kids is get a proper fitting life jacket,” Dr Travis Stork said.
He showed how to look for a Coast Guard certification approval in the life jacket. Life Jackets aren’t one size fits all, so be sure to try it on before you buy it. He said whitewater could rip you out of an ill-fitting life jacket. Be sure to help kids put life jackets on.
Dr Jim Sears said kids life jackets tend to have weight range guidelines, as well as leg straps to keep jackets in place. Pool toys such as noodles and arm floaties will not help you float in a water emergency.
The Drs: Alcohol, Life Jackets & CPR Training
Many adult drownings turn out to be alcohol-related. Life Jackets become even more important if you have been enjoying a few beers during your afternoon on the water. A personal flotation device can save your life.
Dr Travis also recommended taking a few hours to get CPR certified, because you never know when that knowledge can help save a life. Check with your local Red Cross chapter or community center for information on CPR training classes.