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Safe In 60: Stay Safe At The Lake

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Summer is fast approaching, and we are all anxious to get outside and enjoy our lakes.

Whether that includes boating, fun on water toys, or hanging on the beach, here are some things to think about and bring with you before you go.

Drowning is the third-leading cause of injury-related death for children aged 1 – 14 in Utah. And 56% of all drownings in the state occur in the summer months of June – August.

We all know that pools can be dangerous, but lakes and reservoirs present unique and hazardous conditions that are less common at our local pools.

There are many safety precautions you should take when recreating our lakes, ponds, and reservoirs. Remember these top three:

  1. Most important, and if you only remember one thing, always use an approved personal flotation device such as a Coast Guard-approved life jacket that fits properly.
    1. Inflatable water toys may hold up in a local pool, but they are not life preservers and are not made to withstand the elements and conditions produced by even a small pond.
    2. Even if you are in a kayak, paddleboard, or even a boat, always wear a life jacket.
    3. Most drowning victims had access to a life jacket but didn’t wear it.
  2. Know your limits
    1. Even good swimmers can drown, especially in lakes. Others can underestimate their swimming ability. Distance can be tough to determine when in a body of water. If you choose to swim out to a designated marker or the other side, it may be further than you think.
    2. Never swim alone.
  3. Water conditions
    1. Remember that bodies of water can be unpredictable. Without warning, you could face currents, waves, and rapids, especially when the wind picks up.
    2. Lakes and ponds have low visibility. Always enter the water feet first.

Three things you should know before you hit the lake:

  1. Know the signs of drowning: When someone is in trouble, it is likely they won’t be able to call out for help. Knowing the signs will help to act quickly.
  2. Learn lifesaving techniques: Performing CPR before paramedics arrive increases the likelihood of survival drastically.
  3. Always have someone in charge of safety. If there are children present, have an adult in charge of preventing them from wandering off and falling into the water. If you are with a group of people, always make sure someone is watching for safety.

And for those of you over 21. Swimming and drinking are not a good combination.

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