We love spending time in the water, and if you’re reading this, you probably do, too. From swimming and kayaking to snorkeling and paddle boarding, there are infinite ways to have fun in the water. But when you spend a lot of time in lakes, rivers, oceans, and streams, safety best practices tend to go out the window. You think to yourself; I’ve done this plenty of times before. There’s no chance something bad could happen. Unfortunately, things tend to go wrong precisely when we begin to adopt this mindset.
Practicing safety is as important as having fun and getting out into the water. We’re approaching lake and river season in Colorado, so we thought it best to post a few important water safety reminders.
- Contacts – Be sure to tell people where you’re going. Even if you’re heading there with a group of friends, you can never be too safe. Tell a roommate, friend, or family member where you’re going, what you’re doing, and how long you’ll be out.
- Phone – Carry your phone in a plastic bag or other airtight container. This will prevent it from suffering water damage if you drop it in the lake or river. If you spend a lot of time in the water, consider buying a waterproof phone case.
- Sun – Sun safety is always important, but it becomes essential on the water. Be sure to bring sunscreen and wear clothing that covers your body as much as possible. This might seem silly if you’re just heading to the beach, but sun poisoning can be very dangerous.
- Emergency Materials – Be sure to keep your emergency contact accessible. This means you should have it written down somewhere other than your phone. You should also always bring allergy medication, like Benadryl or an EpiPen. You never know when you’ll have an allergic reaction to an insect or poisonous plant, but you’ll want to be prepared just in case.
Luckily, almost all of these tasks can be accomplished by prepping your pack the night before a trip. Maintaining a bag stocked with your emergency gear, sun protection, and a protective phone case or bag can save time and keep you prepared.
What to Do When Things Go Wrong
In some cases, accidents and emergencies are unavoidable. If you’ve done your due diligence and have your phone accessible, you’ll have an important decision to make: Should you go to the emergency room, or is a Denver urgent care clinic better equipped to handle your injury? In general, life-threatening injuries will require a visit to the E.R. This includes experiences like stroke, head trauma, severe bleeding, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. If your injury or accident is less severe, an urgent care center should be able to treat you – often for a lower price and in less time. These injuries can include cuts, bites, back pain, minor allergic reactions, rashes, mild asthma, and sprains and strains. Before heading out, be sure you know the difference about when to go to urgent care and when a hospital setting is more appropriate.