Water safety tips can save your life

TULSA - With summer now upon us, water safety is at the front of many people's minds.

Safety experts from a number of agencies around Green Country all have the same suggestions.

Wear a life jacket

Nearly 90 percent of the drownings at Corps-managed lakes could have been prevented if the victim had been wearing a life jacket. "Wear It!"

If you don't have one get one at a Corps Life Jacket Loaner Board and use it for the day and then return it before you leave the lake.

Even if you swim, you should wear a life jacket because even the most experienced boaters fall victim to boating accidents.

People of all ages should wear a life jacket because anyone can drown. There are a number of styles available, including life jackets customized for hunting, paddling, water-skiing and riding a personal watercraft.

Boat safely

Take a boating safety course. The course is inexpensive and quick. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports that of the individuals who have successfully completed the Safe Boating class, none of them have had a fatal boating accident.

Don't drink and boat. Drinking and boating is more dangerous than drinking and driving a car. About 50 percent of boating fatalities involve alcohol.

Be aware that the combination of noise, wind, motion, sun, and glare during a day of boating can lead to serious fatigue and double your reaction time.

Learn to swim well

Learn to swim to survive. That means you should be able to enter deep water, tread water for one minute, and swim 55 yards. Most people who drown never intended to go in the water.

Ninety-three percent of people who go swimming every summer cannot swim more than 40 yards at a stretch, if at all.

Safe Kids reports that more than half of minority children are poor or non-swimmers, while 60 percent of urban children cannot swim.

Taking formal swimming lessons reduces the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children aged 1 to 4 years.

Keep an eye on children

Make sure you know where your kids are, whether it's on a boat or on the shore. It only takes a minute to turn tragic.

Get CPR certified

Know what to do in case of an emergency.  CPR can save a life.

If you don't know CPR and you find yourself in an emergency, stay calm and pull the person in trouble to safety.

For educational materials on CPR, visit www.tulsacpr.com .

Remembering these few tips can keep you and your families safe.

Have a safe and sunny summer!

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