Excited about Summer Swimming? Cold Water Warning
Spring is arriving in the northern USA, at long last. After all that winter, I am so excited to do all those summer activities – eating ice cream, playing at the park, going to the beach and swimming.
Something all parents and children need to be aware of that the water in lakes, pools, swimming holes, streams and rivers is still very, dangerously, cold, even though the ice has melted and the air is warm. It will take months for the frozen water to warm up enough to be safe for swimming.
In my home state of Minnesota, a nine-year-old boy drowned on a warm April day after jumping from a boat into a lake near his home. The shock of the cold water paralyzed him and he never made it back to shore.
After this tragedy, his family and friends formed ColdWaterWarning, an action group to educate parents and children about the dangers of swimming in cold water.
Jumping or falling into very cold water causes shock, paralysis, and a gasp reflex that makes the swimmer inhale the icy-cold water. If they are not rescued immediately then it will almost certainly be fatal.
Children are most vulnerable to the dangers of cold water. Please tell your children about the dangers of swimming in cold water, and stay out of lakes, rivers and pools until summer.