Children's Health and Wellness

What Do You Know About Water Safety?

Hundreds of people drown each year in the U.S., including those who die in boating accidents and in swimming pools. Summertime is a prime time for water-related injuries. Learn more about water safety by taking this quiz, based on information from the American Red Cross (ARC) and other safety groups.

1. Alcohol is rarely involved in drowning deaths related to boating mishaps.You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Alcohol use is blamed in up to half of all drowning deaths tied to boating accidents. Alcohol affects your judgment, balance, and coordination, the CDC says. You shouldn't operate a boat if you have been drinking. If you fall overboard when drinking, you may not be able to swim to safety or call for help. All 50 states have laws against drinking while boating.A. TrueB. False2. If you don't have a life jacket to fit your child, inflatable "water wings" will work as a substitute.You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Children should wear life jackets when they are on boats or near bodies of water. Life jackets should fit securely; they should not be loose. Water wings and other inflatable water toys are not substitutes for life jackets. Life jackets come in three main types; choose one that is appropriate for your water sport. Choose a life jacket that is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.A. TrueB. False3. Before heading out in your boat, tell someone how long you intend to be away.You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is You should also leave information on who is with you. Be sure to check over your boat before starting out. Check any equipment, the engine and your fuel supply. Don't start the engine before checking for gasoline fumes in and around the engine area. Know the weather forecast and keep an eye out for sudden changes that may mean a storm is brewing.A. TrueB. False4. At a home pool, you can leave children unattended if it's for less than 5 minutes.You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Children should never be left unattended around water. Most children who drown in pools had been out of sight for 5 minutes or less, the CDC says. If you need to leave to answer a phone or the door, you must have another adult available to watch the children, or you must take the children away from the pool area. A better idea is to keep a portable phone or cell phone near the pool; having a phone nearby also allows you to call 911 in an emergency. Home pools should be fenced with a locked gate; fences should have vertical bars to prevent children from climbing over them.A. TrueB. False5. Children who are in trouble in the water often make no noise.You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Young children usually don't splash or make noise when they find themselves in trouble in the water. They can drown without making a sound, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says.A. TrueB. False6. When swimming at a lake or pond, if the water is clear, then it's deep enough to dive in.You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Water clarity has nothing to do with depth. You should always check the depth of the water to see if it is adequate for diving, the ARC says. Jumping in feet first is much safer than diving. Keep in mind that murky water may hide underwater objects and plants, as well as unexpected drop-offs.A. TrueB. False7. It's safe to play in the water in a drainage ditch as long as there is no threat of rain.You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is The ARC advises avoiding drainage ditches and arroyos, both of which carry water run-off. After a rain, ditches and arroyos can quickly fill with water, overpowering even a strong swimmer. It's possible for rain to fall upstream, affecting the drainage ditch, even if it's not raining where you are.A. TrueB. False8. If you get caught in an ocean current, you should swim across it rather than against it to escape.You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Swim parallel to the shore until you are free of the outgoing current (also called a rip tide). Swimming directly against the current will tire even the best of swimmers. When swimming in the ocean, you should stay within designated swimming areas. Stay away from piers and pilings when in the water. As you swim out from shore, make sure you have enough stamina to return. Pay attention to any warnings posted about water or beach conditions.A. TrueB. False9. When using a jet ski, you should travel with at least one other person.You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Jet skis and other personal water craft should always travel in groups of two or three in case of an emergency. Always wear a life jacket when using a jet ski. Keep an eye out for swimmers and other boats. Travel at a slow speed when near the shore, swimming areas or docks.A. TrueB. False10. You should avoid going tubing or rafting on a river after a heavy rain.You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Heavy rains can make certain waterways dangerous, with swift currents. Always wear a life jacket when tubing or rafting and keep an eye on the weather. Get out of the water if a storm is threatening.A. TrueB. FalseYour score was:
Online Source: American Academy of Pediatrics. Sun and Water Safety Tipshttp://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/pages/Sun-and-Water-Safety-Tips.aspx
Online Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stay Safe While Boatinghttp://www.cdc.gov/features/boatingsafety/
Author: Sinovic, Dianna
Online Editor: Metzger, Geri
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed: 5/5/2013