To the editor:
I really felt the need to write this article, due to the increased number of drownings that have happened recently. With Memorial Day approaching, I wanted to get this message out to families that may be going away or planning a day trip. I never realized just how many people drown this time of year, until I lost my own son Jason to a canoe accident in Madison, which
will be 15 years ago, this Memorial day. There are so many people attempting to go swimming, or
out in boats.
They call this the drowning season. What people don't seem to realize is not only do people die from drowning, but also another significant factor to this death is hypothermia. This topic never seems to be addressed. How is it that if there is thin ice on a pond, officials will post a sign Dangerous Stay Off The Ice! What they also don't realize is that although we may
have warm weather this time of year, the water temperature is still only 40-45 degrees. These are the
temperatures when hypothermia sets in. This is when your body loses more heat than it can generate. People are often unaware that they are in an emergency situation. When this happens the body temperature falls below 94 degrees resulting in loss of coordination, slow rate of breathing, loss of mental alertness, and the extremities no longer work making the body impossible to move,
therefore unable to make it back to safety. People have got to understand that it is not like going out on a cold winter day without a coat. It is far more dangerous than that. I really wish that this were explained more when these terrible drownings occur, and that officials would post signs alerting people of the danger of the water temperatures at this time of year.
It is not safe to be in the water this time of year!
In memory of my son Jason, I wanted to send this message to all of you who will be out there this Memorial Day Weekend.