At Pool Fence DIY
, we place a heavy emphasis on keeping children safe. We usually focus on younger children. Unfortunately, older kids are many times just as vulnerable. Today, let’s explore water safety for teens.
Water Safety for Teens
Before we begin discussing water safety for teens, let’s explore some of the unique hazards that this age group faces. When it comes to danger, many kids seem to crave it. The young adrenaline junkies can be shockingly reckless, especially when it comes to water. Far too often, teens seem to operate as though they are invulnerable. Alas, this is hardly the case.
In truth, drowning is the second leading cause of preventable deaths in children through the age of 15. According to National Safety Council, 353 people aged five to 24 drowned in 2017. Many of these tragic drownings were the result of impulsive actions, such as consuming alcohol while in the water. Instead, clear thinking and education are key to water safety for teens.
Drinking and Swimming
Look, let’s face it: kids are going to be curious and experiment with alcohol. At a certain point, parents will not be able to watch them at every moment of every day. Beyond the dangers of alcohol poisoning and drunk driving, it is crucial to remember that alcohol and swimming do not mix
The consumption of alcohol is involved in up to 70% of recreational water deaths. Additionally, alcohol is involved in, get this, about half
of all male teen drownings. When intoxicated, a person’s coordination and judgment become affected. That’s true even when you only drink a small amount of alcohol. To that point, anything that can change to someone’s decision-making abilities when they are near the water should be viewed as dangerous. For safety’s sake, both teens and adults
should avoid drinking before and during water activities. And yes, this warning includes hot tubs!
Beyond the Pool
Obviously, swimming pools are a potential hazard. But water safety for teens extends far beyond the backyard. Swimming in open water such as lakes, or even the ocean, requires careful attention as well. Believe it or not, more than half of fatal and nonfatal drowning incidents involving teenagers took place in natural water settings. To learn how to save yourself from drowning, read our dedicated blog on the topic
If a group of teens are on a boat, everyone should be wearing a Coast Guard approved life jacket
. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, drowning caused 72% of the boating deaths in 2010
. Of those tragic incidents, 88% of the victims failed to wear a life jacket. Far too often, teens value fashion over function. Wearing a bulky life jacket may not seem cool, but it can save a life.
Additionally, we recently wrote a blog about diving safety
. This goes hand-in-hand with our above advice about open water and
avoiding alcohol. Mixing diving with either of things will likely increase your risk of tragedy. It’s crucial to know how deep the water you’re diving into is… and to know exactly what may be lurking under the surface.
Otherwise, water safety for teens is very similar to water safety for everyone else. With education and proper preparation, drowning is preventable. Understanding the basic precautions and potential pitfalls can help to prevent a potential tragedy.