As if parents don't have enough to worry about with kids near the water and potentially drowning, reports from the Fourth of July show that parents -- and adults -- need to be concerned about something else while in the water: Electrocution. Geez. You'd think if you're a good swimmer, and your kids are good swimmers, then the water shouldn't be a threat, right? Wrong. Swimming near electrical sources caused three drownings of children and several other injuries over the holiday. It's a good reminder that swimming safety is not just about how you swim, but where you swim.
The three drownings, which took place in Missouri and Tennessee, all occurred near private docks. One was near a houseboat. All of the locations had power sources nearby that, combined with the water, became deadly. Several other children in the Tennessee lake were injured by electrical shocks but not killed.
People who have houseboats or private docks often have electrical sources nearby for various reasons -- either for electricity on the boats or slides on the docks. In one case, police believe the electrical current was surging through metal on the boat and the children, trying to climb back in, touched the metal.
This type of tragedy is not new or that uncommon. In fact, there is a name for it: Electrical Shock Drowning or ESD. Marinas and man-made lakes where power boats roam are especially vulnerable to ESDs. Who knew?!
Journalist Terry Gardner did. She wrote about ESDs two years ago. According to Terry, there are precautions that can be taken, such as installing equipment that would stop the water from conducting electricity. Also, salt water is safe. So ... the beach for me!
Did you know about ESDs?
Image via aminitrirvizuale/Flickr