With summer in full swing, recreational water use is maximized in Baltimore County. With a large watershed that provides residents with easy access to rivers, streams and even the Chesapeake Bay, everyone must be vigilant while enjoying outdoor recreational activities, especially on the water!
Over the past couple of weeks, I have posted articles to alert locals about beach closings, beach openings, etc. When checking the Baltimore County website today, June 25, there were no closing or alerts, but there was a “Water Quality Advisory” listed for the Hammerman Beach (Gunpowder River watershed) to be noted.
“Water Quality Advisories Currently in Effect:
A Water Quality Advisory has been issued for Hammerman Beach due to conditions of water quality and clarity that are lower than normal. Recreational water users should observe normal precautions such as minimizing exposure to cuts or wounds and washing thoroughly after contact with swimming water at these facilities.”
While we take note of this newest information, it reminds us that there are hidden dangers in using the waters that we often overlook – the risk of infections due to contamination, especially when one has cuts or open wounds. Children especially fail to consider this risk!
Let’s all strive to be as safe as possible. Make a list of the dangers that you feel your family faces when using the water. Consider holding a family meeting to briefly review the dangers and the safety precautions necessary to remain safe. Be vigilant.
Here’s a brief Top Ten list of things one might want to keep in mind:
- Know and follow the laws and safety regulations when boating and swimming.
- Boaters, keep floatation devices on board in accordance with boating laws.
- Check local county websites for alerts and advisories before going on the water.
- Double check weather forecasts and be alert for sudden changes in the weather, especially unannounced afternoon thunder showers with high winds.
- Be prepared for the sun. Wear sunscreen and re-apply according to manufacturer’s specifications.
- IF sunburns become evident, watch for signs of sunstroke or sun poisoning.
- If you are away from shore, carry sufficient water to insure dehydration does not become a hazard.
- Carry a means of communication to alert 911 or others if a problem does arise.
- Remind children of all safety precautions including letting you know if they get a cut.
- Once you return from any water excursion, bath thoroughly to remove any possible toxins to which you may have been exposed while in, on or near our waterways.
Let’s all have a fun and safe summer in Baltimore