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Fact Sheet

Water sports are a great way to beat the heat of the summer - with common sense precautions. Most boating incidents occur during afternoon daylight hours, especially on the weekend in clear weather, and involve cruising the lake in an open outboard motorboat.

Alcohol and water don't mix. Never operate a boat when drinking. Not only is it dangerous, it's against the law.

Always wear a life jacket.

Even if you're experienced,consider taking a boating course. Check the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks

Children should be supervised at all times around water. Toddlers have been known to drown in as little as one inch of water.

Teach children to swim at an early age. Children should never be allowed to swim in any body of water without adult supervision, even if the child has had lessons and is a good swimmer. Adults should also avoid swimming alone. Be careful when swimming; don't overestimate your abilities or endurance.

If you have a pool or spa, make sure it is well fenced with self-closing and self-latching gates.

Be aware that children often do not cry out for help - they may simply sink under water without splashing.

Diving injuries are most common among males. The most frequent injuries are cuts and bruises, but paralysis or death can result when divers hit their heads on the bottom or sides of a pool, or some other object in natural bodies of water.

When you dive:
 Check depth of water and look for any underwater objects before diving.
 Never dive in water less than five feet deep and never in above-ground pools.
 Keep dives simple. Dive with a buddy nearby.
 Dive with hands in front and steer upwards immediately upon entering the water; avoid hitting bottom or sides of pool.
 Only dive from the end of a diving board that has been tested for its spring before use.
 When using a slide, never enter the water head first.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Tucson Drowning Prevention Committee
County of Orange Health Care Agency

Contact the South Dakota Safety Council at
or phone 605-361-7785 or 1-800-952-5539.