That’s a wrap!

This blog was started as a part of Fundamentals of Digital and Online Media, a class I’m taking at Texas State. Our class has come to an end, but I can honestly say this is one of the best assignments I’ve ever had to do. I learn best by doing something hands on and thats exactly how this class was. My online and digital media skills and knowledge have increased greatly over this last month. I’ve had a lot of fun and while I don’t know how well I will keep this blog up, it is something that I can definitely see myself getting into in the future.

I got to spend a lot of time at the WAV in Wellington this summer. It was an incredible feeling to see my little hometown thriving so well. I was hoping to go one last time to interview patrons on their experiences with the WAV so far. Unfortunately, I got sick and wasn’t able to make it again before coming back to San Marcos. Here is a video of the pictures and videos I did manage to get before I left. Thank you to everyone who let me video them! It’s been fun.

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Stayin’ Alive

Today, I want to touch on dry drowning and secondary drowning. While it is rare, it is still something that everyone participating in water activities with children should know about. It seems absurd that a child could have water in their lungs while they are up walking around, talking and seem perfectly normal. Sadly, it’s a very real thing and something that has taken the lives of unsuspecting victims. While this all sounds scary dry drowning, or secondary drowning, can be prevented.

Picture from themedicalbag.com

Picture from themedicalbag.com

What is dry drowning?

According to an article on Parents.com dry drowning and secondary drowning are not the same thing. In the article they quote Mark R. Zonfrillo, M.D., MSCE, attending physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Zonfrillo says that in dry drowning, someone takes in a small amount of water through his or her nose and/or mouth, and it causes a spasm in the airway, causing it to close up. In secondary drowning, the little bit of water gets into the lungs and causes inflammation or swelling that makes it difficult or impossible for the body to transfer oxygen to carbon dioxide and vice versa. Dry drowning usually happens soon after exiting the water, but with secondary drowning, there can be a delay of up to 24 hours before the person shows signs of distress. Both can cause trouble breathing and, in worst-case scenarios, death.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of dry drowning include:

  • Water rescue. If your child was rescued from the water they need medical attention. If you saw your child struggling in the water and taking in water through their nose or mouth, you should pay extra attention to these signs.
  • Coughing. Any persistant coughing or increased work of breath with coughing.
  • Sleepiness. A kid who was just playing excitedly in the pool one minute and wants to go to sleep the next could be a sign.
  • Forgetfulness or sudden change in behavior. A decrease in oxygen levels could cause your child to become irritable, confused or forgetful.
  • Throwing up. Throwing up will happen if the child’s stomach is inflamed or they are lacking in oxygen. Also, from persistent coughing or gagging.

What do you do if your child is exhibiting these symptoms?

Take them to a doctor immediately. It is relatively simple to save your child from dry drowning as long as they receive medical attention quickly. If you spend a day at the pool, lake or ocean it is important to keep an eye on your child and notice if they seem to have any trouble in the water. After leaving the aquatic area pay attention to their behavior and breathing, if you notice any changes in attitude or activeness, you should call a doctor asap and head to the hospital.

Dry drowning and secondary drowning are rare things to happen, but they do. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Especially when your child’s life is involved.

Have fun and watch for the signs!

Things Just Got More Awesome

AquaAwesome’s Facebook page is now up and running! Take a second and check out some of the additional content and videos on Facebook.Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 1.12.05 PMScreen Shot 2015-08-02 at 1.12.30 PMAlong with posting helpful hints and tips for summertime here on my blog, I will also be posting some fun videos and trying to engage with my viewers on Facebook. Now before you get stuck in an endless loop of watching cat videos on YouTube, head on over and tell me what you’d like to see from AquaAwesome!

As always, have fun and stay safe!

Ride the WAV

Today I visited the new waterpark in my hometown, Wellington, TX (pop. 2,000). I was so impressed for such an awesome place to be in my little rural Panhandle town. There is so much stuff to do and the fun is endless!! Take a look and if you ever find yourself in the Texas Panhandle, come visit the Wellington Aquatic Venue (WAV).

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Funscreen

Photograph courtesy of Joe Shlabotnik via Creative Commons

Photograph courtesy of Joe Shlabotnik via Creative Commons

Sunscreen is the seatbelt of summer. Its super easy to put on and without it you are putting yourself at an unnecessary risk. Sunscreen is used to prevent burning, reduce the risks of getting skin cancer and help stop signs of early skin aging. I get asked a lot of questions about sunscreen throughout the summer so I thought I’d try to answer some of them.

What is SPF? SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. If a sunscreen has an SPF of 15 that means that you can be out in the sun 15 times longer with sunscreen than you can without. Sunscreen should always be used if you are going to be in the sun for more than 20 minutes. You should choose a sunscreen that is at least 15 SPF or higher. A lot of places sell sunscreens with SPFs of 50 or higher, but after 50 the sunscreens only get thicker, you are not actually getting any extra SPF.

How often should sunscreen be reapplied? In most cases, sunscreen should be reapplied every 40 minutes to an hour depending on the SPF and if you are in the water or not. The more time you spend in the water, the quicker you should reapply sunscreen.

What does water resistant or water proof mean? According to the American Melanoma Foundation, the FDA considers a product “water-resistant” if it maintains its SPF level after 40 minutes of water exposure. A product is considered “waterproof” if it maintains its SPF level following 80 minutes of exposure to water. If you participate in outdoor recreational activities including swimming, you may want to choose a waterproof sunscreen.

 

With all the different kinds of sunscreens being sold in different SPFs it is hard to know what will provide the best protection. Here is a great info-graphic from the American Academy of Dermatology about how to choose the best sunscreen for you and yours.

 

American Academy of Dermatology

American Academy of Dermatology

It may seem like a hassle to get out of the water and dry off then reapply your sunscreen, but I promise it is worth it! Your skin will thank you and when you’re older you’ll be thankful you did it!

Have fun and stay safe, AquaNerds!

Summer is About Sun Safety

San Clemente Lifeguard and Junior Guard Foundation

**Foundation Members Receive Free Headhunter FaceStick in Their Membership Kit Upon Joining, As Well As Discounted Headhunter Sunscreen! Visit the Contact Us Section in the Sidebar —> Or Join Now! For More Info**

Approximately 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S., making it the most common type of cancer. There are several types of skin cancer, including Actinic Keratosis, Basal Cell Carcinoma, Dysplastic Nevi, Melanoma, and Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Learn more about these specific types of skin cancer here.

Protecting your skin is vital. It is the largest organ of the body and has important functions such as protecting internal organs, keeping bacteria out, preventing fluid loss, moderating body temperature, protecting the body from UV rays, and aiding in vitamin D protection. Since skin is so important, take a moment to learn more about keeping your skin safe and healthy from cancer.

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How To Save A Life

The biggest problem I see while working at the pool is life jackets that do not fit properly. I can’t say enough how unsafe it is to put a child in a life jacket that is too big, too small or one that has deteriorated. Before I could swim I wore “water wings” or “arm floaties”, as did most of the kids I knew. One of the very first things I learned as a lifeguard is that these plastic, arm floatation devices were actually not very safe at all. They can pop, slip off and interfere with a child’s mobility in the water.

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Puddle Jumpers

In the last few years a type of life jacket was invented for children 35lbs and up. While the arms look similar to “water wings” they are actually attached to a float that wraps around the child’s chest and buckles in the back. These types of life jackets are incredibly safe and do not limit a child’s mobility in the water, unlike normal arm floats. They are called Puddle Jumpers. You can find them in most stores like Walmart and Target and they are also available online.

If your child is going to wear a life jacket, make sure it has a strap that goes between their legs and isn’t too big or small. I see a lot of parents not making use of the strap that goes between their legs, but it very important that you do use it. The strap will keep the life jacket where is should be and not allow it to come up and obstruct the child’s airway or slip over their head. If you notice that your child’s life jacket is pushing up around their neck, it does not fit properly and they need a smaller size or a life jacket with the strap that goes between their legs. If your child’s life jacket won’t buckle, or zip depending on the jacket, it is too small. If there is a lot of space between the child and the jacket after it is buckled and or zipped, it is too big. You should be able to put two fingers between the shoulders of the life jacket and your kid.

The last advice I have about life jackets is to make sure that the insides of the life jacket haven’t deteriorated since its last use and it still floats. You should also check for rips, tears, broken buckles, zippers or other damage. You can do this by putting it in the bath tub. If it floats, it is most likely okay. Feel the life jacket as well. You will be able to tell if the insides are starting to come apart. If it doesn’t seem like it is still in one piece, it has probably molded and started falling apart. Do not risk it. Go out and buy a new, correctly fitting, life jacket or Puddle Jumper. Your child’s life is worth it.

Have fun and stay safe, AquaNerds!

In a world full of water..

vmMyWLYe-PwwTKyGqhXTBk1lxwr4hVsGeJXJ6t2bAO4Hey everyone and welcome to my blog! I have worked as a lifeguard for the past seven years and just this summer started instructing swim lessons for 4-10 year olds. I will be using this blog to share some of the things I have learned about water safety and having fun in the sun (while staying safe, of course) so we can all be AquaAwesome!

For the last seven years I have been lifeguard, first aid and CPR certified through American Red Cross. If you are interested in becoming a certified lifeguard or swim instructor yourself, you can head on over to the  American Red Cross website for more information.

Have fun and stay safe, AquaNerds!