It often takes a high-profile incident, like the one that occurred this weekend in which Usher’s 11-year-old stepson was struck by a jet ski while sitting in an inner tube on a lake in Georgia, to remind us of the dangers inherent in seemingly care-free activities.
Kyle Glover, son of Usher’s ex-wife Tameka Foster, was declared brain dead after being knocked unconscious by a jet ski which also hit a 15-year-old female friend. But while accidents do happen and are often unavoidable, there are some specific steps you should take before getting into the water.
Here are the basic rules for water sport safety:
- Learn how to swim. Even if you only plan on staying in a boat, on a raft, or on a jet ski, it’s best to be prepared if you find yourself in the water without a life preserver nearby.
- Always wear a life jacket. It may be hot, and you may not want the tan lines, but a life jacket could be the only thing keeping you from drowning if you’re knocked unconscious or exhausted from treading water. Also, it will help rescuers to spot you in the water if need be.
- Never go out on the water alone. Always be sure to bring a buddy, as well as tell people on shore where you’re going and how long you expect to be away. This will let them know when you’ve been gone too long and could potentially be in need of rescue.
- Carry the proper equipment. Besides just life jackets, the following items could prove invaluable if your boat becomes stranded out in the water: flares, a whistle, a ship to shore radio, maintenance equipment, a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, and a portable handheld GPS unit.
- Know the correct way to use and store your equipment. Be sure equipment like jet skis, water skis, inner tubes, and wakeboards are stored safely and securely on your vehicle prior to use.
- Take your time and do your homework. If your sport requires certification, make sure everyone participating is certified and comfortable. Then, go at the speed preferred by the least comfortable member of your party.
- Watch out for children. Children under age 16 should always be accompanied by an adult as they are most susceptible to drowning.
- Keep an eye on the weather. Storms and rough water conditions can materialize quickly, making it difficult to get out of the water in time. Be sure to stay tuned to the forecast.
- Wear sunscreen. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and brimmed hats are key when on the water where the sun’s rays are reflected off the surface of the water.
- Avoid alcohol. You need to be as sharp as possible when on the water in order to avoid accidents and react appropriately when they do happen.
It’s especially important to adhere to these tips in the summer months when kids are most likely to be involved in accidents. According to Dr. Greg Ozark, associate professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine:
“Kids are outside more (in the summer), out of school and less supervised. This leads to an increased risk of injuries anywhere from drowning to head injuries to skin infections from bug bites or poison ivy.”
Dr. Ozark is a Patients’ Choice and Compassionate Doctor recognition awards winner with 14 years’ experience. To learn more about his background and what his patients say, view his profile.
Source: comluv.com and newswise.com