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Be safe in the water this summer

As summer gets into full force and people take to the water, it’s important to remember water safety.

The pool in Ward 8 just opened. Plenty of folks will seek relief from the heat there.

But here’s something to think about. The National Centers for Disease Control says for people between the ages of 5 and 24, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death.

These could be prevented, though.

* Buddy up! Always swim with a partner, whether in in a backyard pool or in a lake. Even those most experienced swimmers can become tired or get muscle cramps, which might make it difficult to get out of the water.

* Get skills. Be prepared. Take a CPR course and learn some rescue techniques.

* Know your limits. Don’t push yourself. Don’t get in water so deep you can’t touch the bottom if you can’t swim or are just learning to swim.

* Remember alcohol and water never mix. Alcohol is involved in many water-related injuries and up to half of all water-related deaths.

Have fun this summer. Don’t become a statistic.