Safety rules in water – be careful
WATER SAFETY MEASURES
· Summer is a wonderful time for rest and recreation, and in order to spend the time near water with benefits to yourself and your health, it is necessary to learn how to handle water, know how to swim and obey the rules of conduct in water.
· It is not permitted to swim in water for a long time – you can easily catch cold. If you feel shivers, immediately come out of the water and take a short but energetic run along the shore.
· The duration of swimming depends on air and water temperature, on air humidity and wind intensity. The most favorable conditions for swimming are clear, windless weather and an air temperature of +25°С or higher. You can start swimming at a water temperature of no less than 18°С (Table 1).
Water temperature, °С
Swimming time, in min.
Up to 15
· It is not recommended to swim earlier than 1.5 hours after a meal. It is best to swim on children’s beaches: they are well equipped and supplied with necessary means for the prevention of accidents. Do not forget that children are allowed to swim only in the presence of adults.
· Every urban or rural resident should be familiar with the specific features and dangerous areas of the bodies of water in which they swim.
Children’s safety in water is achieved through the right choice and equipment of the swimming area, good swimming arrangements, systematic outreach work with children about the rules of conduct in the water and observance of safety precautions.
· Prior to the opening of a camp and swimming season, the bottom of water bodies are inspected by divers and then cleared of dangerous objects. Close inspection of the bottom is the responsibility of the organization to which the beach and the swimming area belong.
· Medical stations, mushroom-shaped sun shades and canopies for protection against sunlight are set up on the territory of the beach.
· The opening of the beach is only allowed after an inspection by the commission specially created by the administration, with the help of representatives from the LSS and the rescue service. A special act is drawn up after the inspection.
· Responsibility for children’s safety while swimming is borne by the swimming and rescue instructor.
· Children are allowed to swim in groups of no more than 10 people and for 10 minutes. Swimmers line up, fold their clothes and shoes in front of them without moving from the spot. The instructor takes attendance. After swimming and dressing, it is necessary to repeatedly take attendance and check whether all clothes have been taken.
· Swimming of children who do not know how to swim. Swimming of such children is organized and supervised by the head of a recreational camp or a children’s establishment.
- swimming is only allowed in permitted areas in the presence of adults;
- it is forbidden to dive in unfamiliar places – the bottom may contain submerged logs, rocks, driftwood;
- you should not swim in swampy areas and in places where there is algae or slime;
- it is strictly forbidden to swim on inflatable mattresses, automobile tires, inflatable toys – expedient means may be defective, torn, the person may suddenly find himself/herself in water, and this is very dangerous even for those who know how to swim well;
Safety precautions during boating.
· Riding on rowing and motor boats (crafts) is only allowed under the supervision of an adult. Only persons with special licenses for independent operation of water sports equipment are given access to operating boats.
· During boating it is prohibited:
- to overload the cutter, boat above the set norm;
- for children under 16 years of age – to use the boat without adult accompaniment;
- to boat in the evenings and at nighttime.
· Self-rescue of a drowning person
To avoid accidents, it is necessary to explain the rules of conduct in water to a child, and teach him/her how to act in difficult situations.
If you fall in the water you should stay calm, should not panic, and try to save yourself, which is only possible while maintaining your composure.
Once in the water, you should muster as much air into the lungs as possible and try to take a vertical position. Do not make any sudden movements, as in this case water vibrations will increase, breathing will quicken and the risk of choking in the water will increase.
You should breathe deeply and keep the air in the lungs as long as possible to create greater buoyancy. You can hold the air in the lungs for more than 30 seconds.
First aid treatment in case of accidents in the water
Swimming in open water bodies takes place in various conditions. Freezing in water happens much more intensively than on air. At a temperature of +10º С an untrained person without protective clothing may die in 30-60 minutes. Freezing increases with temperature decrease and if the current is rapid.
· In addition to hypothermia, accidents can be caused by:
- excessive muscular efforts, psychological unpreparedness;
- unexpected hazards (deep spots, whirlpools, strong current flows, waves, etc.);
- poor condition of the organism caused by fatigue or illness (heart disease, epilepsy, etc.);
- hitting a solid or sharp object.
· To prevent hypothermia, water temperature in pools is usually maintained at +24…+28 º С.
· It is not recommended to swim in open water bodies with a water temperature lower than +15 º С, because sudden loss of consciousness or death from cold shock is possible. Overheating of the body before swimming and sudden submergence into cold water contribute to the development of shock.
Hyperthermia (heat stroke) can result from a prolonged stay on the shore of a lake, river, pond or on board of a boat, crafts, etc. without protection on a hot day. This disturbs the normal level of heat exchange in the body, causes nausea, vomiting, headache, weakness, shallow and rapid breathing, increases body temperature to up to +40 ... +41 ºC. Loss of consciousness (fainting) is possible.
The victim must be placed in a cool area, provided with fresh air and freed of tight clothes. The victim should be placed in such a way, so that the head is above the level of the legs (for blood outflow), unconstrained breathing should be ensured, his/her face and chest sprayed with cold water, and ice or a cold compress should be put to the back of the head. Smelling aqua ammonia is not recommended.
Cramps during swimming
· Cramps during swimming pose a specific hazard. The occurrence of cramps (painful involuntary muscle contraction) is associated with overstress, cooling or emotional excitement. Cramps do not occur only in water, they are caused by any awkward or sudden movements. However, this does not scare anyone on land. But in water children and adults start to fear cramps in advance and this can provoke their occurrence.
· Measures for cramp relief:
- In case of hip cramps, it is necessary to bend the leg in the knee, and tightly squeeze your foot in the direction of the sciatic area;
- In case of hand spasms you should abruptly squeeze and relax your fingers;
- It is necessary to energetically pull the knees to the stomach during abdominal muscle cramps;
- If cramps occur in the calf muscle, you should lift your foot above the surface of the water, stretch it out and start to vigorously pull it to yourself using your hands;
- In case of arm cramps, you should turn to the side and work with the other hand underwater.
Do not be afraid of cramps. If you experience cramps in the legs (mainly in the calf muscle) while swimming and maintain your composure, cramps will not be a threat. It is necessary to take a deep breath and plunging your head under the water, take the cork float pose (‘cork float’ or ‘surfacing’ exercise), grab onto your toes and pull them toward yourself. Then try to relax your leg as much as possible and swim in such a way (it is best to change your method of swimming), so that you won’t stress it or mainly use your hands.
First aid treatment
· Treating the victim with first aid begins after the drowning person is brought to the surface of the water, and continues during haulage to the boat or shore.
· It is necessary to assess the victim’s condition after getting him/her to the shore.
· If the victim is conscious, he/she should be dried, led to a warm room and given hot tea, coffee.
· If the victim has been rescued after a certain period underwater and is unconscious, in a state of asphyxia (suffocation) or the so-called clinical death, it is necessary to call the doctor.
· Without wasting time, you should immediately begin providing first aid, taking the clothes of the victim before the arrival of the doctor, cleaning his mouth and nose of silt, sand, and place a soft wedge between the jaws of the corner of his mouth (a piece of wood, a tightly rolled cloth, etc.); immediately begin artificial respiration.
· In case of real drowning, the injured is laid on his/her stomach on the lifeguard’s leg flexed at the hip and with sharp, jerky movements, squeezed on the sides of the chest (for 10-15 seconds) and then turned on his back again.
· If the victim’s teeth are tightly clenched, you can use one of these methods for opening his/her mouth: open the mouth with the help of the hands placed upon the lower jaw, or use the expander from the sanitary bags, or some type of a solid flat object (spoon, board, etc.).
· After getting the victim to the rescue station, it is necessary to continue CPR. One of the most frequent mistakes is a premature cessation of resuscitation. As a rule, the presence of temporary breathing movements in the victim does not signify a full recovery of lung ventilation, therefore if the victim is unconscious or had developed pulmonary edema, it is necessary to continue CPR. CPR is also needed if the victim’s breathing rhythm is disrupted and amounts to over 40 beats per minute or he/she has acute cyanosis.
You should always remember that you need to provide assistance as soon as possible, continuously and consistently.
· People removed from the water quickly lose heat, leading to a significant decrease in body temperature, therefore they cannot be laid on cold ground. They should be put on a board or a wooden panel, have wet clothes removed, their skin wiped dry and wrapped in a dry sheet or blanket.
· While continuing rubbing, irritants can be used (vinegar, ammonia, or camphor spirit). Rescue measures should be especially energetic in cases of white asphyxia.
· It is not allowed to warm the victim with a heater or warm bottles, as this can lead to an undesirable redistribution of blood in the body.
Causes of accidents
Drowning may result for various reasons, the main being: not knowing the risks when bathing and swimming, and inability to avoid them and to manage in a difficult situation. Long swims, swimming in a storm, swimming in a state of intoxication, inability to swim, hypothermia, tears in inflatable support means, lack of supervision over children and hooliganism most often lead to accidents.
During swimming, jumping or sudden falls into water, fatigue may result from concussions, skull and spinal injuries, and other injuries from the severe impact of the various objects located in water (a cliff, rock, or hard bottom).
Jumping from a height could unfortunately lead to a sudden blow to the stomach against the water surface (reflex traumatic shock occurs).
Muscle cramps can cause many difficulties – sudden painful contractions of individual muscles bring a lot of nuisances – sudden pain reduction of individual muscles as a result of an abrupt tension, exhaustion and hypothermia.
Most often muscle cramps occur in the arms, neck, abdomen, thighs, legs and feet. It is necessary to collect as much air into your lungs during cramps in order to stay afloat in the water, and with one or two hands massage the muscles in which the pain is felt.
The best way to prevent accidents is good swimming ability with a mastery of all basic techniques of swimming in difficult conditions and adherence to all of the main rules of conduct in water.