Memorial Day safety tips - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Memorial Day safety tips

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start to the vacation season.  

While you're out celebrating, paramedics with AMR want you to keep safety in mind.

"A few simple, but vital, steps can reduce the risk of a tragedy while boating, swimming or diving," said Jim Pollard, AMR spokesman.

Pollard has these tips for boaters:

  • Wear your life jacket.  Don’t just carry it onto the boat.  It only works if you wear it.
  • Know your boat and the “rules of the road.”  Take a boating safety course. 
  • Make sure your boat has all required safety equipment in working order.
  • DON’T OVERLOAD THE BOAT!  Consider the size of your boat, the number of passengers and the amount of extra equipment that will be on-board.
  • Never let children take the wheel and pilot the boat, not even “jet skis.” 
  • Power boat users should check the electrical and fuel systems for gas fumes.
  • Follow manufacturers’ recommendations BEFORE starting the engine.
  • Check the weather forecast. If severe weather threatens, get to shore immediately.
  • Tell a relative or friend where you’re going and when you’ll return.   

    Pollard has the following tips to reduce drowning:

  • Never swim alone no matter how skilled a swimmer you may be. 
  • Never rely on toys such as water wings or even inner tubes, to stay afloat
  • Don’t take chances by over estimating your swimming skills.
  • Swim only in designated swimming areas.
  • Closely watch all children near water.  Never leave small children alone in or near water, not even bathtubs and cleaning buckets!  In mere seconds, a small child can wander away and then fall or jump into water.  Children can drown in just a few inches of water.   Each year about 200 children drown and several thousand more require paramedics and hospitals for treatment of near-drowning.  Children who survive near-drowning may suffer permanent brain damage and breathing problems.  Fence in pools and install self-latching gates. Keep a phone nearby in all water sports.      
  • Remember:  A drowning person does not splash water loudly or scream.  So, it is dangerous to think, “Oh, if my child or friend gets in trouble in the water, I’ll hear it.”    
  • Enter the water to save a drowning person only a last resort.  Before risking your own life, stay on a firm base such a pier or boat.  From that safe base, extend a pole to the person, throw a rope or life ring to the person or reach out your arm to him or her.  
  • Never swim alone no matter how skilled a swimmer you may be. 
  • Never rely on toys such as water wings or even inner tubes, to stay afloat
  • Don’t take chances by over estimating your swimming skills.
  • Swim only in designated swimming areas.
  • Closely watch all children near water.  Never leave small children alone in or near water, not even bathtubs and cleaning buckets!  In mere seconds, a small child can wander away and then fall or jump into water.  Children can drown in just a few inches of water.   Each year about 200 children drown and several thousand more require paramedics and hospitals for treatment of near-drowning.  Children who survive near-drowning may suffer permanent brain damage and breathing problems.  Fence in pools and install self-latching gates. Keep a phone nearby in all water sports.      
  • Remember:  A drowning person does not splash water loudly or scream.  So, it is dangerous to think, “Oh, if my child or friend gets in trouble in the water, I’ll hear it.”    
  • Enter the water to save a drowning person only a last resort.  Before risking your own life, stay on a firm base such a pier or boat.  From that safe base, extend a pole to the person, throw a rope or life ring to the person or reach out your arm to him or her.  

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