We all love to have fun, but that fun may come at a cost unless you are safe about recreation, namely water activities like boating and swimming. This lesson will show you why and what you can do to protect yourself.
Safety During Favorite Activities
I can only imagine what some of your most favorite recreational activities are. Probably some of them include riding a bicycle or jet skiing. There's loads of stuff all of us love to do to relax or as a hobby. Many of these activities can be fraught with peril if not done safely, and that's why I'll point to some overarching safety measures you and your family can employ in order to enjoy your favorite pastimes in a responsible manner so you can build many happy memories together.
Recreational and Water Safety
Recreational safety refers to safety pertaining to leisure or risk-taking activities. Swimming in the sea, riding a bicycle around the neighborhood, boating, skiing, skydiving, and so forth are all examples of recreations many of us enjoy. Despite the joy these activities bring us, they do have some potential downsides.
One crucial type of recreational safety has to do with water safety, safety in and around water and water-related activities. Every day about 10 people die from unintentional drowning, and 20% of these deaths are children aged 14 or less. About 350 people die each year from boating accidents in the U.S. alone.
Drowning is defined as death in a manner consistent with being submerged under water or suffocation due to another liquid. Even if a person survives a drowning, all may not turn out well. That's because the brain can be severely damaged, permanently so, from a drowning accident, and this can cause life-long intellectual disabilities and other impairments.
Water Safety Tips
That's why we'll focus on water recreation for this lesson a bit more so than other activities. The most common causes for not-so-happy endings with water recreation have to do with:
- An inability to swim.
- Alcohol use. Using alcohol impairs your ability to judge danger appropriately, avoid tipping over into a pool, and swim properly. Actually, alcohol use is involved in about 70% of all water recreation related deaths.
- Other causes include a failure to wear a life jacket. 88% of people who die in a boating accident aren't wearing a life jacket.
- Children are more likely to drown if there isn't a good barrier next to a pool or if they're not closely supervised.
- Unintentional drowning is a big risk for people with seizure disorders. When someone has a seizure, they cannot control their motions and are very vulnerable.
To help prevent a drowning, there are many words of wisdom that can be followed by everyone:
- Take swimming classes and teach your children how to swim.
- Use life jackets when on any boat, be it a canoe, kayak, or motor boat.
- Learn CPR to save the life of a friend.
- Supervise children around water, and closely watch your friends if they have a seizure disorder.
- Never swim alone. Make sure someone is always with you. You may get hurt, but your buddy can either save you or get help for you.
- Don't drink alcohol before you swim.
- Install fencing around a pool.
- Do not hold your breath under water for a long period of time. You may pass out and drown without ever feeling the need to gasp for air.
- Do not fight a rip current. You cannot possibly win against the force of Mother Nature. Conserve your energy and swim parallel to shore. Swim towards shore once you are free of the current.
- Also, watch the weather. Do not swim, boat, or engage in any other water activity when there's bad or stormy weather.
- Obey lifeguards and all warning signs at the beach. They're there to save you from trouble, be it dangerous waves or sharks.
Other Recreational Safety Advice
But of course, not all of us enjoy water, and some of us want nothing to do with it! Fair enough. Let's discuss some other critical safety measures you can take with other fun activities.
Wear a helmet when riding a bicycle or rollerblading. If you enjoy hunting or shooting guns, make sure to enroll in all the appropriate classes related to safe gun use and hunting strategies to avoid getting yourself and others hurt.
Some of us want nothing to do with guns and would rather go hike in the woods. No problem, but be aware of any dangerous animals around your neck of the woods, be they snake, bear, tiger, or otherwise. Learn to look for signs of their presence, how to alert them to your presence so you don't spook them, and the best ways to protect yourself in case of an attack by using things like pepper spray.
If you enjoy winter sports, like skiing, you have plenty of things to look out for as well. Not only is wearing a helmet always advisable, but you should also never ski in unmarked areas. Not only could you end up hitting a tree, but those areas may be prone to avalanches.
There are plenty of ways to have fun and even more ways to end up getting hurt. That's why you should take steps during recreation to protect yourself.
Recreational safety refers to safety pertaining to leisure or risk-taking activities. One important subtype of recreational safety is water safety, safety in and around water and water-related activities. That's because ten people die from drowning every single day. Drowning is defined as death in a manner consistent with being submerged underwater or suffocation due to another liquid.
Those who don't know how to swim, do use alcohol, and don't use life jackets are more likely to drown than others. Other than learning how to swim, avoiding the use of alcohol, and using life jackets, ways to increase water safety include supervising children, swimming with a friend, and never swimming in bad weather.
Other activities have important safety measures you can employ for your benefit. This includes wearing helmets, watching for dangerous animals, learning how to safely use a weapon, and paying attention to all signs at the beach, mountain, or elsewhere.
Once you've finished with this lesson, you should have the ability to:
- Define recreational safety and water safety
- Identify common causes and the prevalence of drowning in the U.S.
- List ways to prevent drowning
- Describe safety measures for other popular recreations