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WATER SAFETY is one of the YMCA of Douglas County's top priorities! 


Living in a beautiful Oregon community, we want our children to learn and practice safety in and around the water. 

If you plan on hanging out around the Umpqua, our numerous lakes, or the beach to beat the heat this weekend, please remember that even thought it’s hot outside, the water is still freezing cold and poses a serious danger.  Over the years, we have had numerous springtime and even summertime deaths attributed to people entering the water unprepared or unaware of the dangers.  Here are some important facts to consider before you “take the plunge”:


-          Cold water drains body heat up to 4 times faster than cold air

-          When your body hits cold water, “cold shock” can cause dramatic changes in breathing, heart rate and blood pressure

-          Cold water immersion can trigger involuntary gasping, and rapid breathing or hyperventilating, causing you to inhale water

-          Cold shock can cause an immediate panic, fear or stress reaction that then impairs clear thinking and decision making

-          Cold shock can be just as severe and dangerous from water temperatures of 50-60F as it is from water at 35F

-          Gasping for a breath or rapid breathing from sudden immersion can be triggered by water as warm as 77F


Finally, here are some precautionary measures you can take if recreating in or near water this weekend:


-          Always wear a life jacket in and around the water

-          Always dress for water temperature, not for air temperature

  • Some examples are:

  • Wet suit

  • Dry suit

  • Immersion suit

-          If floating or boating, make sure someone else know the details about the trip, boat, passengers, towing or trailer vehicle, communication equipment, and emergency contacts


Stay safe!




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