Drownings Bigger Concern with Summer's Heat Wave - News - @ JEMS.com

Drownings Bigger Concern with Summer's Heat Wave

About 10 people die each day from unintentional drowning


Albuquerque Journal | | Thursday, July 5, 2012


Multimedia Thumb

Michigan EMS Providers Treat Heat Stroke

Heat stroke and heat exhaustion plagues Michigan.
more >

With the recent heat wave sending New Mexicans scrambling for ways to keep cool, the New Mexico State Parks Division is reminding the public that swimming in natural bodies of water like lakes, rivers and streams is different from swimming in a pool. More skills and energy are required for natural water environments because of low water and air temperatures, currents, waves and other conditions - and these conditions can change as quickly as the weather.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day about 10 people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children age 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States. Tragedy struck in New Mexico as recently as last weekend, when a 4-year-old boy drowned at Navajo Lake. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency room care for nonfatal submersion injuries.

To stay safe in and around natural water settings, the parks division recommends: * Supervision when in or around water. Designate a responsible adult to watch young children while swimming or playing in or around water. Supervisors of preschool children should provide "touch supervision" - staying close enough to reach the child at all times. Because drowning occurs quickly and quietly, adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity while supervising children. * Use U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. This is important regardless of the distance to be traveled, the size of the boat or the swimming ability of boaters; life jackets can reduce risk for swimmers too. * Remember, air-filled or foam toys are not safety devices. Don't use "water wings," "noodles" or inner tubes or similar devices instead of life jackets. These toys are not life jackets and are not designed to keep swimmers safe. * Use the buddy system. Always swim with a buddy, and select swimming sites that have lifeguards, when possible. * Learn to swim. Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning. However, even when children have had formal swimming lessons, constant, careful supervision when children are in the water is still important. * Avoid alcohol. Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating or water/jet skiing. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children. * Know the local weather conditions and forecast before swimming or boating. Strong winds and thunderstorms with lightning strikes are dangerous. * Practice seizure disorder safety. If you or a family member has a seizure disorder, provide oneon-one supervision around water, including swimming, and wear life jackets when boating. * Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation. In the time it takes for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could save someone's life.

State law requires that you wear a life jacket when on a canoe, kayak or raft and that all children 12 years old and younger wear a life jacket while on the deck of a moving vessel. The State Parks Division offers free boating safety classes around the state and online throughout the year.

To read July JEMS "Drownings Present as Hypoxic Events," click here.


Related Links:

Michigan EMS Providers Treat Heat Stroke

Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, pediatric drowning, drowning

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox


Fire EMS Blogs

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts


EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Explosion Shakes Mexico Hospital

Rescuers search ruins of children’s hospital.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Hands On February 2015

Here’s a look at this month’s product hands on.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Nightwatch Series Premiere Party

JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman attends the series premiere of A&E's new reality show, "Nightwatch."
More >

Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >

More Product Videos >