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Water Safety


Boating and Swimming Safety Tips

Plus sign that becomes an "X" when the accordion collapses to show more content How to stay safe in and near water:
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone, whether at a public pool, lifeguarded beach or open body of water
  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards
  • Always be within an arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions (like looking at your phone)
  • Use U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets for children and inexperienced swimmers, but do not rely on life jackets alone
  • If someone is missing, check the water first; many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of at least one parent
  • Be cautious around natural bodies of water such as ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes; currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into the water dangerous
  • If boating, wear a life jacket; most boating fatalities occur from drowning
  • Be aware of warning flags at beaches
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while in or on the water
  • Check the weather before heading out on the water. Storms can spring up quickly in summer months, so be prepared.


Aggressive and Nuisance Alligators

Plus sign that becomes an "X" when the accordion collapses to show more content What are they?
Alligators longer than four feet that are a threat to people, pets or livestock
Plus sign that becomes an "X" when the accordion collapses to show more content What are the risks?
They can seriously injure or kill people and animals
Plus sign that becomes an "X" when the accordion collapses to show more content How can I avoid alligators?
  • Do not allow children to play by themselves around bodies of water
  • Do not swim at night, at dawn or in the evening when alligators most actively feed
  • Do not feed alligators
  • Do not kill, poke or try to move alligators
  • Do not remove alligators from the wild and make them pets
  • Call any Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries office if you have problems with an aggressive or nuisance alligator
Plus sign that becomes an "X" when the accordion collapses to show more content How to report an alligator?


Brain-Eating Ameba

Plus sign that becomes an "X" when the accordion collapses to show more content What is it?
Naegleria fowleri, called the “brain-eating ameba,” is an ameba naturally found in freshwater lakes, rivers and hot springs.
Plus sign that becomes an "X" when the accordion collapses to show more content What are the risks?
The infection destroys brain tissue, causing brain swelling and death
Plus sign that becomes an "X" when the accordion collapses to show more content How to avoid?
  • When you are bathing, showering or swimming, do not allow water to go up your nose
  • Do not jump into or put your head under water
  • Only use sterile water for sinus rinses
  • Empty, scrub and dry plastic pools after each use
  • Run bath and shower faucets and hoses to flush out pipes
Plus sign that becomes an "X" when the accordion collapses to show more content What to do if you're exposed?
  • If you are having symptoms or think you've been exposed, see your doctor right away.

Flesh-Eating Bacteria

Plus sign that becomes an "X" when the accordion collapses to show more content What is it?
Necrotizing fasciitis, called “flesh-eating bacteria,” is a bacterium that enters the body through cuts, insect bites and wounds and spreads quickly.
Plus sign that becomes an "X" when the accordion collapses to show more content What are the risks?
The infection causes tissue to die at the infection site and beyond
Plus sign that becomes an "X" when the accordion collapses to show more content How to avoid?
  • Avoid swimming with an open cut, wound or skin infection
  • Do not swim near a drainage pipe, in a ditch or near runoff
  • Avoid swimming after heavy rains
  • Shower after swimming
Plus sign that becomes an "X" when the accordion collapses to show more content What to do if you're exposed?
  • If you are having symptoms or think you've been exposed, see your doctor right away.