Summertime is boating time. Banner Health, along with the National Park Service, wants you and your family to stay safe at the lake this summer.
Overall, it is important to prepare yourself for a day at the lake and observe common-sense precautions as well as general safety rules to keep you and your family safe while you sail, swim or enjoy yourself around the water.
Despite the best precautions, accidents can still happen. Banner Health and the National Park Service offer these tips to prevent and handle any emergency that may come up.
First and foremost: Wear a life jacket!
Children under 13 are required by state and federal law to wear a properly-fitting, Coast Guard-approved life jacket anytime they are onboard any boat.
People on personal watercraft must wear a life jacket regardless of their age, as must anybody being towed by a boat (skiing, tubing, etc). Everyone else must have an appropriately sized life jacket "readily accessible." Of course, the best practice is to be wearing your life jacket!
Children should never be allowed to operate personal watercraft--Jet Skis, Sea Doos, Waverunners and other such boats. Like any other motorboat, the operator must be at least 14 years of age and have completed a boating safety course if under 18.
Common injuries that bring lake visitors to the Emergency department:
Carbon Monoxide (CO) can affect passengers in boats, whether they are at speed, anchored or idling. CO levels from boat exhaust can reach critical levels in a short time.
Dehydration is often the underlying cause of sickness and accidents on the lake.
Broken glass, sharp metal, clam shells, fishing hooks, sticks and other sharp plant life are easily hidden beneath the sand and water.
Impacts from wakes can cause a boat passenger to be thrown into the air and land forcefully back onto the boat.