Dr. Adam Jonas, internal medicine physician at Kaiser Permanente‘s Everett Medical Center stresses the importance of having a plan whenever near water. “Parents or guardians should ideally be skilled swimmers themselves and always keep an eye on younger swimmers.” Photo courtesy of Kaiser Permanente Washington.

Dr. Adam Jonas, internal medicine physician at Kaiser Permanente‘s Everett Medical Center stresses the importance of having a plan whenever near water. “Parents or guardians should ideally be skilled swimmers themselves and always keep an eye on younger swimmers.” Photo courtesy of Kaiser Permanente Washington.

Dive into summer safety

Local doctor offers tips to combat rising drowning statistics

As families welcome summer in Snohomish County, and with it trips to local beaches, lakes and rivers, water safety is essential.

In fact, recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal an alarming increase in drowning incidents, making water safety a top priority for families and communities.

“Each year, approximately 4,500 lives are lost to drowning, affecting young children and older adults disproportionately,” says Dr. Adam Jonas, internal medicine physician at Kaiser Permanente‘s Everett Medical Center.

“Each year, approximately 4,500 lives are lost to drowning, affecting young children and older adults disproportionately,” says Dr. Adam Jonas, internal medicine physician at Kaiser Permanente‘s Everett Medical Center.

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen a concerning spike in drowning rates*, with a significant 10 per cent increase in 2020,” says Dr. Adam Jonas, internal medicine physician at Kaiser Permanente‘s Everett Medical Center.

“Each year, approximately 4,500 lives are lost to drowning, affecting young children and older adults disproportionately.”

This troubling trend coincides with seasonal changes that naturally draw people to bodies of water. “June is particularly critical,” Dr. Jonas explains. “Schools are out, and families flock to lakes and beaches or take to boats, all of which can increase drowning risks if proper precautions are not taken.”

Education and vigilance

“One of the most effective preventive measures is ensuring that children learn to swim,” Dr. Jonas advises. “Starting young can significantly reduce drowning incidents. We encourage parents to enroll their children in swim lessons offered through local school districts and community centers.”

The use of life jackets is strongly recommended, especially in boats or near fast-moving water in drowining prevention, according to Dr. Adam Jonas, internal medicine physician at Kaiser Permanente‘s Everett Medical Center. Photo courtesy of Kaiser Permanente Washington.

The use of life jackets is strongly recommended, especially in boats or near fast-moving water in drowining prevention, according to Dr. Adam Jonas, internal medicine physician at Kaiser Permanente‘s Everett Medical Center. Photo courtesy of Kaiser Permanente Washington.

Dr. Jonas stresses the importance of having a plan whenever near water. “Parents or guardians should ideally be skilled swimmers themselves and always keep an eye on younger swimmers.”

The use of life jackets is strongly recommended, especially in boats or near fast-moving water. “Modeling safe behavior is also crucial,” Dr. Jonas adds. “Adults should demonstrate responsible behavior around water, including the avoidance of alcohol, which can impair judgment and increase the likelihood of accidents.”

Responding to emergencies

“Being prepared to dial 911, knowing basic life support, and obtaining additional training in water rescue can make a difference,” says Dr. Jonas, adding the importance of having a cell phone readily available and protected from water to call for help if needed.

By educating the community and promoting safe practices, such as using sunscreen, we can help ensure that our members and their families enjoy a safe summer,” says Dr. Adam Jonas, internal medicine physician at Kaiser Permanente‘s Everett Medical Center.

By educating the community and promoting safe practices, such as using sunscreen, we can help ensure that our members and their families enjoy a safe summer,” says Dr. Adam Jonas, internal medicine physician at Kaiser Permanente‘s Everett Medical Center.

“Our vision at Kaiser Permanente is about treating illnesses but also preventing them. By educating the community and promoting safe practices, we can help ensure that our members and their families enjoy a safe summer,” says Dr. Jonas.

For more information visit kaiserpermanente.org, or follow Kaiser Permanente on Facebook, Instagram, or X (formerly known as Twitter).

*Drowning Deaths Rise in the United States (cdc.gov)

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