DOH-Flagler Highlights National Water Safety Month

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The Florida Department of Health in Flagler County (DOH-Flagler) promotes National Water Safety Month to educate the community on how to safely enjoy Florida’s many bodies of water and prevent drowning. Florida offers countless opportunities to enjoy water recreation in pools, lakes, and other surrounding bodies of water. That is why water safety is critical. Children ages 1-4 years old are more likely to drown in a home swimming pool than children ages 5-19 years old, who are more likely to drown in natural bodies of water. Whether you are a parent or a community group member, everyone plays a role in drowning prevention. The goal is to keep water activities fun
and safe for all as we move into the summer months.

Tips on Water Safety:

• Always keep your eyes on children in and around water, including pools and open bodies of water. Actively supervising and giving children your undivided attention when they are in or around water can help prevent drownings.
• Never leave a child alone around water.
• If your child is missing, check other pools or surrounding bodies of water.
• Use barriers around water, including fences, self-closing/self-latching gates, and secure doors with alarms. Barriers help prevent young children from wandering into bodies of water, including lakes, pools, ponds, and more.
• Have a phone nearby in case you need to call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
• Open cuts or wounds should not be immersed in water; if there are bacteria in the water, it can enter the body through a cut or wound.
• If a cut or wound happens when in the water, it should be washed with clean, running water and soap and covered with a clean, dry waterproof bandage.

Beach and Lake Swimming:
Swimming in open water is different than swimming in a pool. Even the strongest swimmer can get into trouble swimming in open water. Here are some tips for swimming at the beach or lake:

• Swim It: Always swim with a buddy, and when safety flags and signs give it the all-clear
to do so.

5.24.2024 Water Safety Month 2

• Shore It: If you have a weakened immune system, a cut on your skin, or don’t have a buddy to swim with, stay on dry land.
• Dodge It: If you encounter animals that live near or in the water, stay away. Also, algal blooms like red tide and blue-green algae, cause skin irritation, burning eyes and throat, and breathing irritations. For current information on red tide or blue-green algae,
please visit ProtectingFloridaTogether.gov/. For more information, contact DOH-Flagler at 386-437-7350.

By Krys DeWind

Krys DeWind has been a Flagler County resident since 2016. She is active in her community and is always looking for ways to better it. She has a community first attitude which is one of the central founding ideals of the Flagler County Buzz.

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