We’re coming up on a long weekend, readers, and the unofficial start to summer! Who decided that Memorial Day Weekend was the unofficial start, though? Well the answer to this question is tied in with the history of Memorial Day itself, which means that it is a little more complicated than simply saying that pool and grill companies wanted more opportunities to make money. To be honest, though, the remembrance of fallen soldiers happens to occur now in a way that enables a three-day weekend, at the end of May, so….people who were anyway off from work decided it was a good occasion to celebrate.
The unofficial start to summer is the perfect time to remind readers of the very real dangers of drowning. People can drown for all kinds of reasons, in as little as two inches of water, so PLEASE practice safe swimming practices in all instances of life. Also, many of you may have seen people in movies who look like they are drowning. Most of those people, splashing in the water and shouting for help, are what lifeguards would classify as “distressed swimmers,” i.e. people who need help but are not in imminent danger of dying (see this Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distressed_swimmer). If these swimmers do not receive help, they may progress to drowning. DROWNING IS SILENT. Drowning is deadly. Please be careful.
Some other potential related issues are ‘secondary drowning’ and ‘dry drowning.’ While the science behind these phenomena is not entirely clear, always be sure to watch people who have experienced drowning or near-drowning instances that may have resulted in ingesting large quantities of water.
What are concrete things you can do to prevent drowning?
(1) Get your child swim lessons. Insist that they learn how to swim.
(2) Only swim when lifeguards are around. Really.
(3) Watch children in the water.
(4) Protect all privately-owned swimming pools with locked, high, 4-sided barriers.
Have fun and be safe, readers. Happy swimming.