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A Weekly Medical Minute: Recent Drownings, Prevention

There have been too many drowning incidents in the Jewish community this summer. Too many lives have been lost, too many peoples lives affected. As a Lifeguard and Lifeguard Trainer, here are some important prevention tips that can help save a life:

1. Do NOT go swimming alone.

However accomplished a swimmer someone may be, it is impossible to be prepared for every situation. A medical emergency, sudden cramp, and even weather conditions, can create an emergency in which even the best swimmer may require urgent help.

2. Pools and water areas should remained securely locked when an adult is not there to supervise.

One of the consistent factors that are seen in child drownings, involve a child gaining accesses to a pool area unsupervised. A gate that did not shut correctly, or a latch that can easily be lifted, can become a tragedy that should never have been. Childproof locks and an automatic locking gate can be simple steps in preventing a drowning.

3. NEVER enter water fully clothed.

Despite what we see in movies and TV shows, swimming while wearing anything other than a bathing suit is nearly impossible. The fabric of most clothing soaks up water, becoming heavy and cumbersome. The more a person is wearing, the more difficult it is to move their limbs to stay afloat. Entering any body of water fully clothed will quickly exhaust you, taking even an accomplished swimmer to the bottom.

4. Children must be supervised at all times.

Hashem created people to live on land. Water is not a safe environment for any human being, even more so for a child. According to the American Red Cross, a drowning can occur in as little as 40 seconds, and is usually silent. Actively watching a child is imperative to their safety in water, just being there is not enough.

5. Learn to Swim.

It’s not just an extra curricular activity, its a life saving skill. In fact, it is such an important life skill, that every father has a mitzvah to teach their child to swim. A child should receive swimming lessons from a certified swimming instructor, and should upkeep their swimming skills often. It can save their life.

Binyamin Adelman EMT-P, LI
  Owner and Lifeguard Instructor
  Red Star Training LLC

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