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Summers in New England offer opportunities to enjoy the water, whether by boating, sailing, enjoying a day at the beach or swimming in a pool. Rhode Island alone has more than 400 miles of coastline! Whether you enjoy a day out on the water or prefer to stay on shore, it is important to know and understand the dangers that these fun activities hold.
There are several different steps families can take to stay safe this summer. If going on a boat ride, know the state life jacket laws and wear them! There are different sizes of life jackets that depend on a person’s weight and height, and there are different types of life jackets for different boating outings. Boaters should also know the operator’s “float plan” and should be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
For those who prefer to stay on land, beach and pool-goers should pay attention to certain dangers. Children should always be supervised when swimming and the supervising adult should refrain from using any distractions, like a book or a phone. Even adults should forgo swimming alone- it’s safest to swim with a buddy or near a lifeguard. Swimmers should always be aware of their surroundings, whether it’s recognizing rough surf and the threat of a rip current or knowing where pool drains are and purposefully avoiding them.
Rhode Island and Massachusetts residents must remain vigilant, especially during the summer months, to keep the region’s youngest members safe. Consider learning CPR and signing your child up for swimming lessons and remember to never turn your back to the water when a child is swimming.
Be sure to check out our links for more information.
Andrew Nathanson, MD, emergency medicine physician at Rhode Island Hospital, discusses laws and regulations for safely operating a boat.
Sadiqa Kendi, MD, pediatric emergency medicine physician at Hasbro Children's Hospital, discusses the importance of swimming lessons and learning CPR.
Proper Life-Jacket Fit
Andrew Nathanson, MD, emergency medicine physician at Rhode Island Hospital, demonstrates how to properly fit a lifejacket.
Reagan and Jennifer: Why Water Safety Matters
Jennifer shares her personal story to help promote water safety. Courtesy of Safe Kids Worldwide.
Pool and Beach Safety
Robyn Wing, MD, pediatric emergency physician at Hasbro Children's Hospital, discusses pool and beach safety.
Lifejackets vs. Water Toys
Andrew Nathanson, MD, emergency medicine physician at Rhode Island Hospital, discusses the important differences between a lifejacket and water wings and similar toys.