TRI-CITIES, Wash. —
June 17-24th is recognized as Drowning Prevention Week. The CBRC Health and Wellness Clinic in Richland is helping raise awareness by sharing tips and tricks to stay safe.
With Summer officially here, you may be thinking of heading to the pool, but it’s important to remember to stay safe regardless of where you go.
Kari Woelber, Aquatics Director for the CBRC says wearing the proper life jacket is the biggest thing to remember. I tried one on myself and even though I meet the weight limit, it’s still too big. Properly clip on the jacket and make sure it doesn’t move up to your ears. If it does, then it’s too big.
Kari says life jackets are the only helpful tool to keep around when cooling off in the water. Heading to the river? Kari says there’s other tools you can use.
“Empty out a cooler and toss it to them as a floatation device.” says Kari, “You can also try and use a tree branch to pull them in.”
She tells me it’s especially important to lean back when pulling people out because then you can get pulled in.
One of the biggest tips she says is to never jump in after the person that may be drowning.
The reason? They’re in a panic and usually don’t have a sense of what’s going on. So jumping in can scare them more, but they might also pull you down.
If they’re bigger than you, they may push you down to a point where you’ll be in danger.
Using something like a pool noodle, helps the person drowning grab on. Pull them to the edge of the pool and have them to.
Currently, the CBRC offers in swim person classes during the week. With summer here, Kari says they are fully staffed with lifeguards for the season, something that hasn’t been as common in the past couple of years.
For pool hours and classes you can head to the CBRC website.
Kari shares, that regardless of where you go, it’s important to stay safe and never go to enjoy the water alone.