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Dangers Of Swimming Apply To Everybody

Lake Superior shore at Porcupine Mountains photo
Chris Heald
flickr creative commons

Over the weekend, tragedy struck for Michigan families hoping to beat the heat. Five people reportedly died at Michigan lakes, including a 27-year-old Lansing man.


  Suzy Carter, executive director of the Lansing Area Safety Council, said that despite the temptation, no one should swim alone.  


Regardless of age, Carter said drowning should be a concern for everybody. People tend to overestimate their own abilities on the water, which is why it's so important to have a buddy system in place.


"A lot of times people might have much more exposure to a swimming pool, which is so much different than a lake or a river or even a pond for them," Carter said. "For that matter,  in our natural bodies of water, we can't see currents, we can't see drop-offs, we aren't as familiar." 


Carter said that it's a good practice for parents to learn CPR and to have an emergency plan. High temperatures, strong riptides and big waves can put even good swimmers at risk.


Although parents often worry about young children in open water, Carter said danger can be much closer to home. The best way to ensure safety in the neighborhood is by covering backyard pool drains and removing toys from the pool area when adults aren't present.






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