Water & Recreational Safety: Definition and Precautionary Measures

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  • 0:01 Safety During Favorite…
  • 0:32 Recreational & Water Safety
  • 1:42 Water Safety Tips
  • 3:59 Other Recreational…
  • 5:05 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

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.

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