Summer is almost here and Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day are the 3 busiest weekends on the nation’s lakes. There’s nothing quite as fun as a weekend spent at the lake with the water and the sun and the fun. Unfortunately, those are also very busy weekends for the hospitals near those lakes as the weekend fun often turns dangerous.
Make sure that you are following the laws pertaining to wearing life jackets. Proper U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets should especially be on your children without exception. Adults who aren’t strong swimmers, adults who have been consuming alcohol and anyone enjoying water sports should also be using life preservers.
Many people who would never consider drinking and driving in a car seem to have no problem doing it in a boat, which is ridiculous especially considering that boats don’t have seat belts and that there are people in the water swimming and skiing. Would you consume alcohol and drive your car 50 mph through a neighborhood with kids playing in the street? Of course not, so why do people think it’s ok on a lake? It’s not and it’s illegal. Don’t drink and drive. Period.
The lakes are very busy during the summer, especially on holiday weekends. When swimming, make sure to find an area off the beaten path and away from the main areas of the lake. Also you will want to use extreme caution when pulling skiers and tubers, especially children. Review with them what they should do if they fall off to make sure other boaters see them in the water until they can be picked up. You may want to do your water sport activities in the morning or later in the evening when fewer boaters are on the water.
There are a lot of other activities that people enjoy at the lake that often result in injuries such as ATV accidents. All riders, even those with experience should wear helmets. Campfires are another area for danger, especially for kids if not properly supervised. Make sure they aren’t wearing lose fitting clothing, that their hair is pulled back, and that they know they can’t run or roughhouse by the fire. Finally enjoy the fireworks, but make sure they are being lit by a responsible, sober adult, and not in with too many trees.