Did you know that every year more than twice the number of teens and adults in Arizona lose their lives in water related incidents than children?
Many factors contribute to drowning amongst this population:
- Teens and adults have a tendency to overestimate their swimming abilities
- Water conditions are underestimated (temperature, depth, unseen objects)
- Alcohol, drugs or medication are sometimes found to be a contributing factor
- Life jackets are not being used
Water is an unpredictable and dangerous element often under estimated. As reported by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2013, 77 percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those drowning victims, eighty-four percent were not wearing a life jacket.
Life jackets are the cheapest form of life insurance your money can buy. They provide the one thing that can make a difference in most drowning incidents. They provide time. Wearing a life vest can help save lives when people are thrown from the vessel, the vessel sinks or capsizes, the passenger is rendered unconscious or the swimmer underestimates the power of the currents or overestimates their swimming ability.
The most common element in adult water-related incidents is swimming alone. You are never old enough to swim by yourself. Children are taught that they must have an adult watching them and to always “swim with a buddy” as they get older. The same is true for teens and adults.
Adults aren’t drown proof and need to follow these simple rules:
- Never swim alone and never swim impaired.
- Always tell a family member or friend prior to going into the pool or hot tub.
- Be aware of the side effects of medications (prescription or over-the-counter medicines) some can make you feel drowsy before entering a body of water. This includes pools, hot tubs or bath tubs. If you are not sure, check with your doctor.
- Be aware that alcohol and any kind of water-related activity do not mix. The water temperatures in hot tubs can speed up the effects of alcohol.