When school is out and the temperatures rise, it’s time to hit the water. Nobody wants a fun time at the beach or pool to head south. Swimming safety takes a bit of effort, but it’s worth it for summertime fun.
Here are tips from the American Red Cross for swimming safety.
Buddies are Best
Always swim with a buddy and be a good buddy in return– don’t let anyone swim alone. Never leave children unattended near water, even shallow water.
Learn to swim
Learning how to swim well is a good start to being safe around water. Anyone that isn’t a strong swimmer should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water. It’s OK to not be a strong swimmer, swimming is a learned skill and it takes practice. Don’t poke fun at anyone that can’t swim. Safety is the top priority when around water.
Secure swimming areas
Gates and fences might seem annoying and costly but, according to the Red Cross: “Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.” Secure your pool properly even if you don’t have children. It could save a life.
Properly supervised swimming is key. It’s safest to swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards. If you are acting as the lifeguard, supervising children or others, you must maintain constant supervision. Just because everything has been fine for hours doesn’t mean something can’t go wrong in the next moment.
Drink plenty of water when outside. And eat as much as you like– you don’t have to wait half an hour to swim after eating, that’s a myth. But you do have be sober while swimming. A beachside alcoholic drink is relaxing, but drinking and swimming is a dangerous combination.
Don’t forget the sunblock
Limit direct exposure to the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 4p.m. And of course, it goes without saying, have fun. Swimming comes with responsibilities, but it’s also a blast.