Come Memorial Day, it seems we’re irresistibly drawn to water — pools, lakes, beaches and boat decks — like skinny dippers to an unguarded swimming hole. So it’s only fitting that May is National Water Safety Month, which, if it were celebrated with a party, would not feature alcohol (a definite no-no whenever you’re around water) and would have a required dress code (life jackets).
But why not mark the occasion by taking a test instead? Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Every day, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning, two of them children age 14 or younger. According to a study commissioned by the USA Swimming Foundation, in 2013, Pennsylvania ranked seventh in the number of pool drownings of children younger than 15.
With Centre Region communities pools opening this weekend, it’s best to be prepared. What’s your water safety wisdom level? Take our quiz, which is mostly aimed at pools but contains sound information for staying safe wherever you may find yourself around water.
Who’s at risk?
What can happen
What to do
Here are some additional resources and information sources about water safety.
• The “Swim by American Red Cross” app is free for iPhone and Android devices. It contains safety information and quizzes, including some aimed specifically at kids. You can also find courses and track your child’s progress through various levels of swim instruction.
• CDC: www.cdc.gov/Home andRecreationalSafety/
• National Drowning Prevention Alliance: http://ndpa.org
• www.nationalwatersafety month.org