Athletic Water Safety

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June 8, 2018
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July 17, 2018

The sun is shining, the weather is warm, and for many families, the water is calling. Whether you’re wake-surfing on your favorite lake, rafting down a temperamental river, or even just taking a day to lounge at the local pool, water is an integral part of everyone’s summer.  Do you know the best ways to stay safe in the water when you’re preparing for your favorite aquatic athletics?

Today, we at Steamboat Emergency Center want to go over some of the biggest concerns when it comes to water activities this summer. Keep reading to get yourself ready for that new kayaking adventure you’ve been planning, or to make sure your kids are ready to hit the pool with their friends.

Signs of Drowning

Naturally, drowning is one of the biggest concerns for any water activity. Swimming, tubing, kayaking, canoeing, the list goes on, all have a risk of drowning, which is why anyone participating needs to know the signs that a drowning person will exhibit.

Contrary to what you might assume, people who can flail and shout and wave their hands probably aren’t drowning.

A person that is drowning will usually become still in the water. They will be quiet, maybe even unable to speak. They might be swimming awkwardly, have hair in their face, or their head may be bobbing up and down in the water. If you see any of these signs while you’re out on the water, call a lifeguard and get professional help. Drowning is a serious emergency, and it requires medical attention.

Getting the Right Gear

No one likes to put on a life vest. They’re bulky, awkward, and for many people they feel itchy. Helmets receive many of the same complaints, which is why so many kids whine or protest having to wear these protective layers.

The fact of the matter is, though, that when you’re engaging in water activities that involve open water (lakes, rivers, reservoirs, oceans, etc.), it is imperative that you and your loved ones wear lifejackets. If your adventure of choice is rafting, kayaking, or anything else along those lines, then helmets are also required. They might seem uncomfortable now, but they will protect your head in case you fall, or your raft gets turned over. A good helmet can save lives.

Go Through Training

Any activities that involve equipment inevitably come with training. For people who go kayaking every year, it might seem tedious to go through new training every single time, so some people will try to skip it, or take their own routes, without instructors or guides. After all, if you’re experienced in it, you don’t need additional training, right?

The truth is, everyone needs training. Even if you remember all of the hand signs and safety precautions for your chosen water activity, you need to be refreshed on it regularly. Instructors have to re-train frequently and so do participants. Sometimes, equipment gets upgraded, or there are new safety discoveries that you might not know unless you get new instruction. This makes it very important to always go through training for your summer adventures.


This summer, Steamboat Emergency Center is excited to see all that you and your family will do, but we encourage everyone to take precautions and stay safe. If you’re going to spend a lot of time in the water this summer, become familiar with the signs of drowning, make sure you’re properly equipped for your activities, and get appropriate training. That way, your family can enjoy themselves even more, without injury.

In the case of any water-related emergencies, Steamboat Emergency Center is open 24/7, even on holidays, with concierge-level medical care.

Nutex Health, Inc. supports you and your family’s health. Come visit Steamboat Emergency Center or any one of our concierge-level freestanding facilities for the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.