BlackBerry photo by John Lee

Water safety is being stressed this summer by the Shreveport Fire Department.  "Think before you sink" is the fire department's water safety message for the year.  

Nationally, children under five and adolescents between the ages of 15 and 24 have the highest drowning rates.  And each year our local fire and rescue professionals respond to dozens of water incidents.  Sometimes those incidents result in drowning or near drowning.  "Think before you sink" is seen as a simple reminder that a few simple steps can prevent major accidents.  Here are some water safety tips from the fire department:

  • Always have adult supervision while in and/or around water.
  • If you can't swim, DO NOT get in the pool, lake, or river without a life vest.
  • Use only U.S. Coast Guard approved life vests and make sure that they fit properly before getting into the water.
  • Learn swimming and rescue techniques from a qualified professional.
  • NEVER swim alone; always use the BUDDY system.
  • Drinking and swimming is a deadly combination.  Refrain from consuming alcohol before you swim.
  • Learn proper CPR techniques.  Refer to your local directory for a list of qualified instructors.
  • Keep a cell phone nearby to call 9-1-1 if needed.

The fire department says simple steps like these can keep you much safer when you're in or near the water.