(EFFINGHAM, IL) – Swimming is a great way to relax and beat the heat, but before you pack your towels and sunscreen and head to your favorite swimming hole, HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital want to make sure you and your family know about swimming safety.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death of American children ages one to 19. Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Many deaths from drowning can be prevented by following a few simple rules for swimming in pools or natural bodies of water.
St. Anthony’s recommends the following swimming rules:

  • Learn how to swim. It is essential if you plan on being in, on or near water. Many organizations provide swim instruction to people all ages.

  • Supervise young children. Never allow your children to swim alone without adult supervision.

  • Lifeguard on duty. When swimming in bodies of water other than residential pools, swim only when a lifeguard is on duty and in areas designated for swimming.

  • Know your limits. If you are not a good swimmer or you are learning to swim, do not go in the water that is so deep you cannot touch the bottom and do not try to keep up with skilled swimmers.

  • Buddy up. If you are good swimmer and have had lessons, keep an eye on friends who are not as comfortable or as skilled.

  • Think before you dive. Do not dive headfirst in to shallow or murky water, or water of uncertain depth.

  • Use proper floatation devices. Inflatable toys, rafts, air mattresses and water wings should never be used as lifesaving devices for children.

  • Learn CPR and first aid. Adults, especially those who are parents or who care for children, should learn the basic first aid and CPR.

  • Swim sober. Do not swim under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Being under the influence of either or both seriously impairs judgment and coordination and increase the risk of injury or drowning.

“Water-related injuries are commonly seen in the ER, especially during the summer months,” said Dr. David Sprowls, medical director of St. Anthony’s emergency department. “Following common sense safety precautions and being actively engaged when overseeing children in the water will help prevent a fun summer outing from becoming a trip to the ER.”

Media Contact

Brad Ochiltree

Manager, Marketing & Communications
HSHS Illinois
Office: (217) 464-1161

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