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  • Heather Murray

Parents Preventing Childhood Drownings presents Sunday Survival Stories: Pick the Safest Place

Every Sunday, we will share a story of a non-lethal drowning, discuss where things went wrong, and give some pointers on how to prevent it from happening to the people you love. Thankfully, these stories have happy endings for those involved, but sadly, we lose too many people to drowning every year. We hope examining these real-life stories help put the dangers of water into perspective and help you introduce various principles of water safety to your family!

Today’s story features the water rescue of a teenager trying to swim the Potomac River between Virginia and Maryland. While swimming is prohibited in this area, locals have seen an influx in drowning incidents with the start of COVID-19.

This article raises multiple alerts about finding the safest place to swim in natural bodies of water. Before swimming, you should always research if swimming is allowed or prohibited. Never swim in an area that has been designated as dangerous due to currents or surrounding conditions. Find out if there are lifeguards on duty or a flag system to alert swimmers to the swim environment (such as a change in water levels or power). You should also try to find out if there have been emergency incidents related to the water previously, and how long it would take for emergency responders to arrive on scene.

COVID-19 has changed many things for us in 2020, but it shouldn’t change the layers of protection we use to prevent drownings. If pools in your local area are closed as a preventive measure against COVID-19, do not let your water safety guard down in order to cool off.

Always find the safest place to swim and implement layers of protection. Have fun, be safe, and swim smart!

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