Drowning is the 3rd-most preeminent cause of unintentional death globally. Studies show that as blood alcohol consumption increases, so does a person’s likelihood of drowning. In fact, it has been found that alcohol is in the blood of 30%-70% of people who drown during recreational water activities. Alcohol is one of the most common determinants in both drownings and near-drownings in adults. By knowing the effects of alcohol on your mind and body and using that information to decide not to combine drinking and water activities, you can ensure that you stay safe.
It is likewise dangerous to supervise children in the water if you are drinking. Studies have shown that:
When under the influence of alcohol, you can not assuredly keep yourself safe, let alone keep children safe. Read more about the importance of lifeguarding children.
Consuming even seemingly insignificant amounts of alcohol before taking part in water recreation can be dangerous. Drowning happens fast, and it can happen in ways you may not expect. An adult can drown in only a minute. A child can drown in only 20 seconds. It’s even possible to drown in water that is only a few inches deep. It’s always necessary to use caution by the water, but being drunk can prevent you from using life-saving caution and common sense.
Moreover, swimming is not the only activity that can lead to drowning. In addition to activities which put your body directly into the water (like swimming, diving, and surfing), recreation on or near the water (such as boating, fishing, or walking along the shore) can be extremely risky when you are under the influence of alcohol.
Before you enjoy that first sip of beer on the beach, make sure that in doing so, you won’t be endangering yourself or anyone else. Also keep in mind that it’s not only summer water recreation that poses a threat to drinkers. Polar bear swims, fall kayaking, and winter hot tub dips are also dangerous when drinking. As nice as a drink by the water can be, it’s never worth your life.
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