Water Safety in Wisconsin - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Published on June 02, 2016

Water Safety in Wisconsin

As a Wisconsinite, summer months can mean everything to you. Long winters and cold springs drive us to water parks, lakes and rivers when warmer weather hits. Unfortunately this makes summer a high time for water accidents, injuries and fatalities.

The latest research shows the number of drowning deaths is falling, but not for all age groups. Learn how you can help protect yourself, family and friends this season with these safe, responsible water safety tips and resources.

Pool Safety Tips

Having a pool or hot tub in the backyard increases the risk for water injuries and drowning. If you or someone you know has a pool, follow these tips:

  • Install a four-foot fence with a self-latching gate around the pool.
  • Add pool, door or gate alarms and an automatic pool cover. 
  • Remove ladders, steps and toys when the pool is not in use.
  • Empty blow-up pools after each use and put them away.
  • Be no more than an arm's length away from a child in the pool.
  • Wear a life jacket, especially little ones and inexperienced swimmers.
  • Take additional swimming lessons, even as an adult.
  • Learn first aid and CPR.
  • Keep a phone near the pool for emergency use.
  • Maintain the pool and chemicals to keep the pool clean and safe.
  • Keep electrical appliances away from the pool to prevent electric shock.
  • Create and enforce rules for the pool, such as no diving, no running, only swimming with a buddy and staying away from the drain.

Water Safety Tips for All Ages

Drowning isn't just a safety issue for children. It can happen to anyone at any age. Help keep drowning deaths down by following these steps:

  • Learn how to swim.
  • Swim with a buddy.
  • Avoid places without a lifeguard on duty.
  • Teach children to ask first about entering the water.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while swimming.
  • Adhere to beach swimming regulations, warnings and conditions.
  • Avoid bodies of water that are choppy, rough or filled with debris.
  • Always wear an appropriate-sized life jacket when boating.

In Case of an Emergency …

Even when you try to stay safe in and around water, drowning can still happen, and quickly. In case of an emergency, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the person from the water right away and check if he or she is breathing.
  2. If the person isn't breathing, begin CPR immediately. Don't waste time seeking emergency medical help. If others are present, ask them to call 911. The victim may spit up swallowed water while you are doing CPR.
  3. Continue CPR until the person starts breathing again or medical personnel arrive.

Don't know how to perform CPR? Find a class near you.

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Water Safety in Wisconsin