Water Safety 2022

July 8, 2022
A photo of a lake with a sunset in background.

STAYING WATER WISE THIS SUMMER

A recent water rescue serves as a reminder of what to watch for — and why you should be extra careful in the water during this time of year.
"Thanks to these outstanding citizens, a crisis was averted for others and their quick and decisive actions saved lives."

New Jersey's Jefferson Township Police Department in a Facebook post about a July Fourth weekend water rescue. Two families out sailing on Lake Hopatcong noticed four swimmers struggling in the water when one of them — a former volunteer firefighter — jumped into the water and pushed all four swimmers to safety. Three of the swimmers had become exhausted in the choppy waters. The fourth had jumped in to try to save them and his boat drifted away.

Drownings

  • July is the deadliest month for drowning.

  • Drowning is the #1 cause of death in children ages 1 to 4 (other than birth defects) and a leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14.

  • For all ages, drownings are the #5 cause of preventable injury-related deaths.

  • Nearly 80% of drowning deaths are males.

  • Alcohol use is involved in up to 70% of drowning deaths.

  • Each year, there are approx. 4,000 fatal drownings and 8,000+ nonfatal drownings.

Water-Associated Disease Outbreaks

  • CDC Study: From 2000 to 2014, there were 140 reported water-associated outbreaks linked to fresh / marine waters (lakes, rivers, oceans).

  • The majority of the outbreaks started during the summer months, with nearly 60% starting in July.

  • Outbreaks caused nearly 5,000 illnesses and two fatalities.

A few water safety tips to keep in mind this summer: Limit alcohol intake or avoid it all together; take CPR lessons and enroll children in swim lessons; make sure weak swimmers, children and boaters wear life jackets; closely supervise children when they are in or near water, and stay within an arm's length of children who are weak swimmers. To minimize your risk of exposure to water-associated diseases: Pay attention to advisory warnings and stay away from smelly or scummy waters.

CDC: Drowning Prevention

CDC: Drowning Facts

Outbreaks Associated with Untreated Recreational Water — United States, 2000–2014 (CDC)

NSC: Top 10 Preventable Injuries

Red Cross: Water Safety

NPR: You Could Save A Child From Drowning This Summer. Here's How

Lake Hopatcong boaters rescue swimmers on Fourth of July Weekend (Daily Record)

by Jenna Lee,

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