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Summertime is the most popular time for water activities and outings such as spending days at the lake, beach, or pool! Everyone thinks about swimming, engaging in watersports like jet skiing, and the food! What many may not think of during these fun filled days is water safety. It is crucial that everyone be aware of the dangers that can arise during these occasions and more importantly how to prevent those potential hazards from becoming a reality. We want everyone to have fun and be safe during their days out in the water so here are ten safety tips everyone needs to know before getting in the water!
- CPR: At least one or two people in a group gathering should have knowledge of CPR and how to perform it in the case of emergency. Having this knowledge can be the difference between life and death. Always remember to call 911 in the case CPR is being used in an emergency situation.
- Life Jacket: For those who are just learning how to swim or are not strong swimmers, in general, should always be wearing a life jacket certified by the U.S. Coast Guard while in large bodies of water to prevent drowning. While on a boat, every individual on board should be wearing a life jacket no matter the age. 80% of boating fatalities are due to accidental drownings, something that can be easily avoided.
- Children Supervision: Just because a child is wearing a lifejacket or in a floatation device, there is always the risk of that equipment failing. Make sure there is constant adult supervision and that a child is kept within arm’s reach at all times.
- Buddy System: Never swim alone in natural bodies of water! Always stick with the buddy system
- Shoreline Visibility: While swimming in larger bodies of water, be aware of how far away the shoreline is. The sun’s reflection on the water can make it seem closer than it is causing swimmers to venture out in incredibly deep areas of water.
- Swimming Areas: Only swim in areas that are designated for the activity. There are reasons why certain areas are blocked off from swimming, and although it may be tempting to investigate, it could be potentially dangerous.
- Be Aware of Currents or Rip Tides: It can be difficult to spot a current or rip tide in natural bodies of water. If you find yourself caught in one, you must remain calm. Swim parallel to the shoreline along with the current then swim towards the shore at an angle.
- Hypothermia: Although temperatures outside of the water are high, water temperatures can still be under 60 degrees F. If you or someone begins to complain or muscle cramps or shivers, immediately get out of the water and warm up.
- Ingesting Water: Whether it is a pool or natural body of water, ingesting the water can be dangerous. Harmful organisms and chemicals can be present which can make someone very ill and could be potentially fatal.
- Drop Offs: Bodies of water can at any time drop off from shallow to depths of 20 or more feet. Be aware of the surroundings!