Swimming About 45 percent of all drownings involve people falling in the water

Swimming about 45 percent of all drownings involve

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Swimming About 45 percent of all drownings involve people falling in the water while walking on piers and bridges or fishing from boats. Many victims were poor swimmers who lacked basic water skills. If you are going to spend time near the water, you should know how to swim. Swimming is your best defense against drowning. You should know how to swim even if you never expect to go in the water. You may someday have the opportunity to save a drowning person's life. Always swim with a friend. The buddy system saves lives. Swim only in designated areas. Undesignated swimming areas may have hidden hazards that can kill you. Teach your children how to swim. Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental deaths in children. NEVER leave a child alone near a swimming pool or swimming area. Many parents think they can hear their child fall into a pool. They are wrong. Drowning is a silent killer. There is usually no loud splash or cry for help because the first gasp for air fills a child's lungs with water, blocking all sound. Child-proof your pool, Install a double layer of protection around your pool. Build a fence at fence five feet high around the pool with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Make sure the latch is out of children's reach. You also can buy an electronic sensor that floats in the pool and sounds an alarm if something disturbs the water. Beware of cold water. Chances of survival in 50-degree water are only 50-50 if you are exposed for 50 minutes. If you arc alone, usc the heat escape lessening position (HELP). To do that, huddle to conserve heat by crossing your arms and feet and pulling your knees up (fig. 11-1). You can die from hypothermia, even if you fall into water as warm as 70 degrees, if you stay immersed long enough. If you have several people in the water, huddle together in a circle (fig. 11-2). For either of these techniques to be effective, you must be wearing an approved personal flotation device. Do not jump or dive into water that may be so cold it will numb your body. Instead, ease into the water Figure 11-1. Heat escape lessening position (HELP). Figure 11-2. Huddle position gradually. Cold water exhausts a swimmer faster than warm water. Do not swim long distances in cold water. Cold or tired muscles are susceptible to cramps. To overcome a cramp, draw your knees toward your chest and massage your cramped foot or leg while moving it. You should be in a "face forward" float position while doing that. Know and consider your swimming limitations. Do not swim when you are tired, overheated, or chilled. If you find yourself fatigued, you can find temporary relief by floating, treading water on your back, or varying the style of swimming. If you find yourself in trouble, 11-4
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conserve strength as much as possible. You can do that by resting on your back in a floating position with a minimum amount of motion.
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