Tag Archives: life jackets

Preventing Hypothermia

Preventing Hypothermia

Hypothermia doesn’t just happen in the winter or in cold water.  Hypothermia can occur in water that’s 70 degrees, so you need to be aware of hypothermia even when enjoying spring and summer water activities.  Know how to protect your troop from hypothermia by:

  • Always wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while boating on cold water.  A life jacket not only provides flotation, but it also helps the person wearing it to conserve body heat.
  • Wearing layers of insulated clothes that keep you warm even while wet, such as clothing made from wool or containing polypropylene or capilene.
  • Wearing a wet suit or dry suit during aquatic activities.
  • Wearing a hat.  Body heat is quickly lost through the head.

For more, read Basic Water Rescue, a booklet published by the American Red Cross.

Being Prepared for an Aquatic Emergency

Being Prepared for an Aquatic Emergency

It;s important to be prepared for an aquatic emergency.  Being prepared means being ready before it happens.  To be prepared for an emergency, you must first understand the aquatic environment and review general water safety guidelines.  Always:

  • Be aware of the conditions and potential hazards of the water environment, whether it’s a pool, lake, river, ocean, or other body of water.  Know its unique conditions, as well as hazards common in your geographical area, such as storms, currents, and underwater obstructions.
  • Understand the various recreational activities that are common in your area and their hazards.  Consider the age and ability of participants in those activities.
  • Learn what kind of accidents and injuries have occurred in your water environment.  This knowledge will help you prevent further injuries and prepare for similar aquatic emergencies.

You also need to have the right equipment on hand in case of a water emergency.

  1. Appropriate rescue equipment for a water emergency, such as a ring buoy, throw bag, heaving line, or reaching pole.
  2. Appropriate life jackets for every person that is in, on, or around the water.
  3. A first aid kit.
  4. A means of communication (such as a phone, cellular phone, or two-way radio).
  5. An emergency signaling device, such as an air horn, whistle, strobe light, signal mirror, flare, or chemical light stick.
  6. Extra clothing, blankets, and rain gear.

For more, read Basic Water Rescue, a booklet published by the American Red Cross.