328 West Conan Street, Ely, Minnesota 55731

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Stay Safe While Enjoying the Water this Summer

Minnesota Summer is in full swing. From cookouts and ballgames, to bonfires to boat rides, now is the time to enjoy all our beautiful state has to offer.  

And, of course, as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, we know that many people will take advantage of the warmer summer temperatures to cool down by the water. Whether that means swimming, fishing, kayaking, water sports like wakeboarding, or all of the above, knowing how to stay safe while enjoying the water is essential. 

“We want everyone to enjoy their summer—not deal with the repercussions of a water safety incident,” Colin Yahnke, EBCH Chief Nursing Officer, said. 

A few simple yet essential tips for water safety include: 

  • Always wear or have a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) close by 
  • Ensure this PFD is age- and size-appropriate  
  • Do not consume alcohol before or during water activities (boating, jet skiing, swimming, etc.) 
  • Do not swim alone 
  • If you do decide to go alone, let someone know when and where you will be fishing, kayaking, or doing any other water activity 
  • Always supervise children when they are swimming or participating in any water activity 
  • Do not jump in the water to save someone else, unless you are certified as a lifeguard or in water rescue 
  • Keep an eye on the weather, and know when to get out and go home 

By making smart choices before and during time by a pool, lake, or other body of water, you can help avoid negative outcomes like an injury or risk of drowning. The use of a PFD, in particular, is one of the quickest and easiest ways to stay water-safe. 

“The data is black and white on water safety injuries and negative outcomes associated with not using a PFD,” Yahnke explained. “Having a properly fitted PFD can, without a doubt, save your life if an injury or accident happens.” 

EBCH wants to ensure everyone in the community knows the importance of PFDs when enjoying the water this summer. To help with this, we have important info on selecting the appropriate PFD on our education board in the hospital. If you have any specific questions, give us a call. We will do what we can to get you the information you need, so you can enjoy summer safely. 

 If a Water Accident Occurs, We are Here to Help

Even with the best intentions and preparedness, water accidents can happen. When they do, EBCH is here. 

Our team of providers has undergone the best evidence-based training to care for trauma patients, including Comprehensive Advanced Life Support Training and Advanced Trauma Life Support Training. By completing these trainings, our providers can be sure to deliver a high level of care in the event of an injury or accident that occurred in the water. 

“Our team is fantastic at initial assessments, diagnostics, and the stabilization of trauma patients, preparing them for safe transfer to a Level 1 or 2 trauma center,” Yahnke said. “We have access to the highest level of diagnostic equipment and have blood available at the hospital, which means we can quickly and accurately provide these patients with the care they need.” 

Knowing our community’s love for the outdoors, and the water especially, we know our team needs to be ready for patients in the case of an accident. We are dedicated to providing high-level trauma care for such incidents, and we will continue to find new and innovative ways to improve outcomes for any patients who suffer from accidents or injuries on the water. 

Stay safe this summer! 

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