It’s finally here…summer! Beautiful weather, family fun, and outdoor activities are endless for the next 92 days. Unfortunately, so are the dangers of heat stroke, drowning, accidents, and other summer activity hazards. Below are some important safety tips to keep your summer emergency free.

Safety Tips for Swimmers and Boaters
Florida is known for its pristine beaches and numerous waterways, so it is no surprise that it is the boating capital of the world. And with 663 miles of beaches and pleasant weather nearly year-round, we are also known as a swimmer’s paradise. But without proper precautions, a fun day on the water can quickly turn dangerous.

There are over 1 million registered boaters in the state of Florida, but with that many vessels out on water, it also makes Florida the deadliest state for boating accidents. In 2017, there were 766 reported boating accidents, resulting in 67 fatalities. The leading cause of boating accidents was the inattention of the driver and the leading cause of death in all boating accidents was drowning.

Unfortunately, Florida also leads the nation in drowning deaths for children ages 1-4 and is the second deadliest drowning state for children under the age of 14. Drowning can occur in as little as 2 minutes, with permanent brain damage possible in less than 4 minutes and death possible in as little as 6 minutes. Secondary drowning, while uncommon, still happens in 1-2% of drowning cases each year and is marked by extreme fatigue, difficulty breathing, chest pain, or persistent cough, or a sudden change in behavior following a struggle in the water.

To enjoy the natural beauty of our coastline and waterways in the safest way possible:
Learn to swim and wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest if you are not confident in your swimming ability.
Never leave a child or someone who doesn’t know how to swim unattended in or near a pool.
Do not allow anyone to swim alone.
Use pool covers, gates, and alarms as a safety precaution.
Teach your children to ask permission before going near water.
If your child is missing and you are near water, always check the water first.
Ensure that your boat is safe to operate and that the driver has taken a boating course.
Ensure that there is a proper life jacket for everyone on board.
Operate the boat at safe speeds and within safe distance of other boaters, obeying the rules of the water.
Remain alert
Do not operate a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Be weather-wise. Do not take a boat out in bad weather.
Let others on land know of your travel plans and itinerary.

While summertime is exciting, safety should be everyone’s priority. When preparing for your favorite summer activity, please following these safety tips first to avoid having to call 9-1-1 later.

Wishing you safe fun in the sun this summer season.

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