During the hot summer months, enjoying a day at the beach or the lake is a welcome relief. Unfortunately, any body of water can be dangerous if proper safety measures are not taken. No matter what age you are, going to the beach or spending the day on the water can be hazardous.
The most common accidents that happen at the beach or on the water include:
- Accidental Drowning – Stanford Children’s Health estimates that each year, 830 children under the age of 14 drown accidentally. Another 3,600 suffer injuries due to nearly drowning.
- Boats and Watercraft – Any kind of powered boat or watercraft can pose dangers to those riding it or those in the water nearby. Improper or unsupervised operation is a common cause of accidents, particularly to bystanders. When operators are not paying attention, are going too fast, or are intoxicated, it is difficult to be aware of surroundings. Being struck by a boat or watercraft can cause cuts and lacerations, bruises, broken bones, or brain damage.
- Marine Life – Most bodies of water are full of native wildlife. Some marine life is dangerous. At the beach, you must be careful of jellyfish, sharks, or stingrays. These all can cause painful wounds. At the lake, there is a risk of bacteria or parasites, which can impact your health or lead to serious infections.
The best way to stay safe at the beach, pool, or lake is to be prepared. Make sure that children know how to swim and have life-jackets. Only let licensed and experienced drivers operate watercraft. Avoid alcohol consumption while supervising children or operating any type of vehicle.