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Summer Safety - Tips for Staying Safe Around Water

06-06-2018

Summer is just around the corner, which means it’s almost time for trips to the beach and afternoons spent outside by the pool. There’s nothing like getting away for a warm and sunny vacation this time of year, but it’s important to stay safe and practice proper water safety.

Whether you’re a small child, a teenager, or an adult, it’s always important to stay safe in the water. Here are some tips to keep in mind before you hit the waves or jump in the pool.

Water Safety

Stay safe while swimming in water of any kind by following these important water safety tips:

  • Never swim alone.
  • Never push or jump on others.
  • Never dive into an area you’re unfamiliar with.
  • Avoid alcohol when swimming.
  • Install barriers and use safety covers on your home pool or hot tub
  • Don’t go in the water unless you know how to swim.

Be Proactive About Water Safety

  • Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross swimming classes to ensure your family knows how to swim correctly.Remember, swim lessons aren’t just for kids, they’re available to all ages!
  • Learn CPR so you can be prepared in an emergency.
  • Make sure that you’re comfortable with the body of water you’re swimming in. More strength is needed to swim where there are currents.
  • If you get caught in a current, don’t panic or try to fight it. Float with it, or swim parallel to the shore.
  • If you’re swimming in a public body of water like a lake or a beach, make sure a lifeguard is present.

Keeping Kids Safe

Although there are dangers when a person of any age swims, children and babies face the greatest risk of all.

Drowning is a leading cause of death for young children and can be quick and quiet. It’s best to designate a “water watcher” who will pay close attention to all swimmers. Most children who drown in swimming pools are between the ages of one and four. Here are a few precautions you can take to keep your child safe around water:

  • Never leave your child alone in the water.
  • Don’t assume that lifeguards can see everything. Keep an eye on your child even when a lifeguard is supposed to be doing the same.
  • Don’t allow your child to play around drains or suction fittings.
  • Don’t assume that a river or a lake isn’t dangerous. Both can have undertows.
  • Always have a fire aid kit and emergency contacts nearby.
  • Learn CPR, and always remain within arm’s length of your child, providing “touch supervision.”

For most children, the majority of their swimming will take place in a pool. While the water may be rougher in the ocean, it’s important to remain careful when swimming in a pool as well.

Pool Safety

Each year, millions of people escape the summer heat by swimming and relaxing in their backyard pool. Unfortunately, many people often disregard useful swimming pool safety tips, which could prevent hundreds of injuries and drowning accidents. Check out these tips on enjoying the pool safely all summer long:

  • Secure your pool with appropriate barriers that are at least 4-feet tall and include a self-latching gate. For added safety, install a pool alarm that triggers each time the gate opens.
  • Children should always be under active supervision. Stay close to children at all times when in or around a swimming pool.
  • Ensure all family members know how to swim and understand proper swimming pool safety.
  • Keep your swimming pool or hot tub clean by maintaining appropriate chemical levels, circulation, and filtration.
  • Establish pool safety rules and enforce them. Rules like no diving, no running, and swim with a buddy are important rules to establish.
  • Practice pool emergencies and how to handle them with CPR and other aquatic safety courses through the Red Cross.

Open Water and Boat Safety

While pools may be the most common place to enjoy the water this summer, you could find yourself boating and swimming in a body of open water at some point. Follow these boating and open water safety tips to prevent injury and accidents.

  • Make sure that lifeguards are watching children at all times.
  • Don’t allow your child to dive into the water unless you’re sure of the depth of the water and you’ve checked for underwater objects.
  • Never allow your child to swim in canals or any fast-moving water.
  • Make sure that your child understands the dangers of rip currents. If you are caught in a current, swim parallel to the shore until you escape the current, and then swim back to shore.
  • Have your children wear life jackets at all times when on a boat, dock, or near a body of water. Adults should wear life jackets for their own protection, and to set a good example.
  • Make sure the life jacket is the right size for your child and is not too loose.
  • Boating under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or some prescription medications is always dangerous, even as a passenger.

Have Fun Swimming Safely!

Summer is not only the time to take proper swimming precautions, but it’s also the time to take the extra steps to protect your skin from the sun. Take a look at our recent post on skin safety.

For more information on staying safe in or around water this summer, check out the American Red Cross for more tips and training courses.

Categories: Women's Health, Pediatrics