How to Stay Safe Around Water
By Sara Butler
Tragic accidents happen all the time, and while it may be impossible to protect you or your family from ever having an accident, there are things you can do to reduce your risk. In the summer when you’re out doing water-related activities, keep these safety tips in mind to try to keep you and your loved ones from harm.
Swimming in a Pool
Swimming is one of those quintessential summer activities. When it’s hot and humid out, nothing feels quite as good as going to the pool and taking a dip. But if you have young children it can be dangerous, so it’s important to follow these tips to keep safe around the water:
- Only swim in areas deemed safe that are supervised by lifeguards.
- Don’t swim alone or allow anyone else to.
- Take your children to swim lessons so they can learn how to swim.
- Don’t leave children unsupervised around the water.
- Don’t trust children to supervise other children around water.
- Don’t drink alcohol when you swim.
- If you own a pool, put a fence around it or a cover with an alarm.
- Keep young children within arm’s reach.
- Don’t keep toys in the pool for young children to be attracted to.
- Get CPR certified in case of an emergency
Swimming in a Lake, River or Ocean
If you live near a lake or an ocean and frequent the beach to go swimming, you should also keep these safety tips in mind:
- Know your limits – When you swim in open water it’s much harder than swimming in the still waters of a pool. This means you may tire faster and that can lead to trouble very quickly.
- Understand the terrain – When swimming in rivers or lakes, the murky water can make it difficult to find people who go under. If you swim in a place with a strong current, such as where two rivers meet, it can be easy to be pulled under and swept away. Understand where you’re swimming and take precautions.
- Wear a life jacket – It’s important when you’re out on the water to wear an appropriately fitting life jacket in case you get tossed unexpectedly into the water. This goes for children too.
- Get prepared – Make sure you check the weather conditions on a day you will be out, and always make sure you have a cell phone handy as well as someone with you who can perform CPR if needed.
- Share with your kids – Talk to your children about the dangers of being in open water and tell them what to do in case of an emergency!