Back to top

Many families celebrate Memorial Day weekend by visiting loved ones at a cemetery, hosting family gatherings, or perhaps attending a local parade. It's also the same weekend public pools open for the summer.

Perhaps you plan on enjoying the weekend in the water... whether it's at the public pool, at the lake, or in your own pool in the backyard. If so, we don't blame you - it's a great way to cool down, relax, and have a little fun. However, while it's refreshing for our mind and bodies and fun to make splashes, swimming in water can be dangerous. Phelps Memorial's ER provider, Rochelle Herrada, gives some insight on water safety and how to ensure we are making smart decisions.

Here are a few important tips on staying safe in and around the water:

  • Make sure everyone has basic swimming and water safety skills.
  • Use U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets as directed.
  • Designate a responsible adult to closely and constantly supervise swimmers. and
  • Recognize and respond to a swimmer in distress and know how to perform CPR.

As mentioned earlier, water can be dangerous and even life threatening. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2021, "More than 40% of drownings treated in emergency departments require hospitalization or transfer for further care."

"Unfortunately, water associated injuries and death happen everyday. Any body of water can be the site of an accident including rivers, streams, lakes, swimming pools, hot tubs and more," said Herrada. "Knowing how to be safe when enjoying the water can prevent water associated injuries and death."

Water safety also includes supplying safe water. Mishandling pool chemicals can results in serious injuries and poor health.

If you have a pool in your backyard, please remember to:

  • Prevent access to water when pool is not in use.
  • Install and maintain barriers that fully enclose the pool and separate it from the house, and
  • Use locks or alarms for windows and doors.

We also encourage never swimming alone, and to avoid drinking alcohol. "Water and alcohol is a dangerous combination that leads to a higher risk of injuries and death when enjoying the water," stated Herrada.

If you have any questions on healthy and safe swimming, please call us at 308.995.2211.