Stay Safe During Swimming Season
Drownings are more likely during summer months when people crowd into public pools and local water spots to escape the heat. While swimming together can be a fun way to spend time with the family, there are many risks in the water, and conditions can change in a flash! Arizona isn’t immune to flash floods or other dangers, so here are a few tips to consider before spending a “day at the lake.”
Be Prepared Before Swimming in Natural Water Sources
If you are going to jump in a cool river or lake, check the weather and the conditions right before you get in the water—not the day or week before. Because conditions can change in an instant, it’s important to stay alert to news. A thunderstorm an hour away can cause massive flooding downriver, which could put you and your family in danger.
The Cold Springs Swimming Hole in Tonto National Forest, just north of Phoenix, is a popular place to cool down, but it was where nine adults and their children lost their lives during a flash flood. Because it is located in a back-country setting, cell phones didn’t work and the group didn’t hear about the flash flood alert. Swimmers traveling to this area, be sure to check the local and statewide news and weather channels before you lose service. If there is rain anywhere upstream, don’t go swimming.
If you choose to swim in a lake, it’s also important to check the weather. You don’t want to be caught in a body of water during a lightning storm, for example. You also face conditions such as heat stroke if conditions are too hot outside. Finally, educate yourself on snakes, scorpions, or poisonous spiders you might encounter when you are swimming or hiking in the wilderness.
Have a way to contact emergency personnel. No matter how prepared you are, emergencies can still happen. Make sure you have service on your cell phone and a fully charged battery. If your cell phone coverage doesn’t reach the area, bring a GPS location device that is equipped to send an emergency signal.
What to Pack
Aside from packing your swimsuit, here are a few things to have in case of an emergency:
• Fully charged cell phone or communication device
• Hats, sunscreen, and SPF-rated clothing to keep the sun off your skin
• Shade tent
• Extra water and food
• First-aid kit
• Flotation devices for children
It’s also helpful to have a lightweight blanket and flashlights if you are caught out late at night. Make sure your gas tank is full so you won’t be stranded away from a gas station. If you take pets, take extra water for them and make sure they don’t get overheated.
Swimming Accident Help
Many swimming accidents are caused by events out of our control, such as the flash flood. However, some are caused by someone else’s negligence. In these cases, it should be your top priority to work with a knowledgeable team of attorneys who have experience in drowning accident cases. If you or a loved one was a victim of a swimming accident, contact The Husband and Wife Law Team for your complimentary case review.