As the heat and humidity rise, floating in a lake or lounging in a pool sounds like the perfect way to cool down and enjoy summer. While it is fun and relaxing to swan dive into your favorite watering hole, and float in your backyard pool, everybody must be vigilant to stay safe. Drowning is a real fear, with the CDC reporting that roughly ten people drown every day. Here are nine water-safety tips that just might save your life, or the life of someone you love.
Put Down the Smart Devices
If you’re at the pool or beach alone and want to surf the net, go for it. However, if you are with kids, tuck your smart device out of reach. It’s ok to snap a photo of the kids in the pool, but getting engrossed in social media or reading work emails is a big no-no. It only takes a couple of minutes for children to get into trouble in the water, so watch them, not your screen, at all times.
Enroll In Swimming Lessons
Enjoying pools, lakes, or oceans demand being able to swim, and putting floats around arms or waists isn’t as safe. Every family member needs to pass a swimming class before they indulge in this summertime activity. That way, if they accidentally fall in the water, they can most likely save themselves from drowning.
Get CPR Certified
It pays to be prepared. If, despite following proper safety measures, someone gets in trouble in the water, you should be prepared to handle the emergency until help arrives. The good news is, it’s easy and fairly quick to learn CPR. Contact The Red Cross and make plans for you and your family to attend a class near you before you dive in.
Use Life Jackets
Donning life jackets is essential if you’re going boating and they need to be used properly. If you’re thrown out of the boat or knocked unconscious during an accident, it could be the only thing that saves you from drowning. Make sure the life jacket fits the person correctly and ensure that they are worn the entire time, whether in the water or out.
Limit the Booze
Cracking open a cold beer or sipping a frosty margarita may seem like a great idea on the water, but beware. Alcohol can sneak up on you, slow your reflexes, and be the reason you fall into the water. If you’re going to drink while floating or swimming, make sure there’s a responsible adult who is abstaining who can handle any emergencies that arise.
If you own a pool, you need to…
…Properly Deter Unwanted Swimmers
A pool in your backyard can be fun and refreshing, but it’s also a liability. Contain it with a fence that’s the proper height to discourage neighbor kids from diving in uninvited. Also, set up motion sensors so you’re notified if anyone tries to sneak in for a midnight dip.
Feet First the First Time
Diving into bodies of water is dangerous and may have dire consequences. The water may be shallower than expected, which can cause the diver to hit bottom and break his or her neck. For safety’s sake, only dive into the deep end of the pool, and jump feet first into other bodies of water to gauge their depth.
Practice Water-Safety Drills
The entire family may think they understand what they need to do during a water emergency, but panic can make it go out the window. Since timing is crucial in helping someone in danger of drowning, practice what to do with your family. Alternate people who are “in trouble,” and give everyone a role to play in assisting. For example, one person should be the designated 911 caller, one can be the person who grabs the safety float, and another can be the person who jumps into the pool.
Reiterate the Rules
Everyone who will be enjoying your pool, boat, or day at the beach needs to hear and agree to the rules in advance. Don’t think, though, that they’ll remember them over the course of the summer. Remind them of water’s danger and stress safety precautions. Yes, you may feel like a nag, but keeping safety at the forefront of their minds will hopefully help them to make smart decisions.
Water is a great way to cool down during the sweltering months of summer and should be enjoyed by everyone. It’s vital to remember, however, that water can be dangerous, and it needs to be respected. By making sure you and your family are able to swim, you’re CPR-certified, and giving reminders to follow safety water precautions, the summer can be filled with splashing, dunking, and paddling, with all mishaps and accidents avoided.