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The Great Outdoors: Water Safety

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When taking in "The Great Outdoors," it's important to not underestimate its power.

It's about that time of year when lounging by the water means paradise, but don't let the gorgeous view fool you, or let your guard down when it comes to water safety.

"The summer and the warm weather bring people out to the water, whether it be a pool or fresh water, like a stream or a lake, and they both have the same hazards," said Dr. Chris Goode, medical director of the emergency department at United Hospital Center.

He said when it comes to open-water swimming, it's important to know your surroundings.

"Don't ever jump in water where you don't know exactly how deep it is, don't ever jump in water where you don't know the current. Don't ever swim in an open-water area like that alone," said Goode.

But as some lifeguards know all too well, accidents can also happen at area pools.

"With adults and children, the normal compression rate is 30 to 2. That means 30 compressions and two ventilations," said Tristan Knapp, a lifeguard at the Bridgeport City Pool.

"Don't put yourself in harm's way. Unfortunately, what we see sometimes is people try to jump in to try to help an individual, and they get caught in the same situation," said Goode.

But not all forms of drowning are as direct as you may imagine. Goode pointed out that here are some instances where swimmers can experience delayed effects.
"Secondary drowning is a rare phenomenon, but it does happen, and when you inhale that water, it sits there in your lungs. You cough it up, but over time, over minutes or hours, that causes inflammation, and they can become short of breath, vomiting, coughing a lot. And if that's the case, they should be evaluated by a healthcare professional," said Goode.