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Be aware of the hazards of open water swimming

girl on swim tube splashing

Headed to the lake with your family Labor Day weekend?

Be aware, according to a study by Safe Kids Worldwide, more children and teens drown in open water than in pools, so make sure you take the appropriate steps to make it a safe and fun outing.

“Hidden hazards of open water include dangerous currents, sudden drop-offs, limited visibility, depth of the water, cold temperatures and the difficultly in judging distances,” says Ronda Lusk, RN, community health coordinator for Via Christi Trauma and leader of the Safe Kids Wichita Area Coalition.

You can help keep your kids safe by making sure they know that swimming in open water is different than swimming in a pool and that they’re aware of the additional dangers.

Other ways to ensure their safety in open water include:

  • Watching them in and around water without distractions such as talking on the phone or checking your email;
  • Using a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket appropriate for your child’s weight and water activity;
  • Learning how to respond in an emergency without putting you and your child at risk for drowning; and
  • Learning CPR.

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Via Christi is part of Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system.

About Roz Hutchinson

Roz Hutchinson is a Wichita wife, mother and chief spoiler of six grandkids and three Chihuahuas, a die-hard women's basketball fan, and director of Communications and Public Relations for Ascension Via Christi.