4 Reasons Why You Need to Wear a Life Jacket
Life jackets save lives and people know this. However, millions of people take to the water every summer without wearing them, and hundreds unnecessarily die because they couldn't put them on in time following an accident. Let's take a look at a few reasons why you should always keep your life jacket on whenever you get into water that is over your head.
Good Swimmers Need Them
A common excuse that people use is that they know how to swim, and this gives them a false sense of security. It's hard to appreciate how much energy is required to tread water for a prolonged period of time. People tend to think that if there is an accident, they will have time to put on the life jacket, or grab one that is floating in the water. However, this is not always the case, and the risks of not having a life jacket far outweigh the benefits of not wearing one.
Many people also forget that being forced into the water is often accompanied by an emergency, and many emergencies cause injuries. What if you have a broken leg, broken ribs or are losing a lot of blood that causes you to fade in and out of consciousness? What if every part of your body hurts when you move, and you can't deal with the pain of treading water or swimming? What if you get completely knocked-out before you end up in the water?
A life jacket will support your weight and allow you to float instead of having to swim. It will also make it easier for others to care for you while you're in the water until you get rescued.
Life jackets are made with bright colors for a reason: It makes you more visible if you end up in the water. Ask any marine rescue professional, and they will tell you that life jackets make it easier for them to find victims, and they tend to find them faster.
They Provide Warmth
Hypothermia can develop in water temperatures that are surprisingly-warm, and injured swimmers are particularly susceptible to the effects of heat-loss. Good life jackets provide insulation and help to retain core body temperatures, and this can play a role in helping victims remain conscious, alert and strong until help arrives.
Make sure that you are wearing a life jacket every time you get on a boat, even if you are only traveling a short distance from shore. It may be slightly uncomfortable, cumbersome and make you look silly, but it only takes one unexpected mishap to occur, and you'll be glad that you were wearing one when that time comes.