Summer is a time for swimming. Whether at the pool or at the beach, people love the refreshing feel of the water during the hot summer. Have your kids ever said “no” when asked if they wanted to go swimming? Although swimming is fun and refreshing, you still need to be aware of safety measures which need to be followed while swimming. Consider the following safety measures proposed by the Red Cross and Lewis, Feldman, Lehane & McAtee, LLC:
Swim in a supervised, marked area with a lifeguard present, and swim with others. Never swim alone.
Enter the water feet first. Enter the water headfirst only when the area is clearly marked for diving and has no obstructions.
Adults should never leave a child unobserved around water. Practice “reach supervision” by staying within an arm’s length of young children and weak swimmers while they are in and around the pool, lake or ocean.
Take frequent breaks (about once an hour) where everyone gets out of the water, drinks water, reapplies sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) and rests.
If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore. If you can’t swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
Watch out for the “dangerous too’s” – too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity.
Post CPR instructions and directions to call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number in the pool area.
Keep toys away from the pool when it is not in use. Toys can attract young children into the pool.
If a child is missing, check the pool first. Go to the edge of the pool and scan the entire pool, bottom, and surface, as well as the surrounding pool area.
Don’t drink alcoholic beverages unless there is a designated lifeguard.
These safety measures apply to adults as well. Even if you are an expert swimmer, things can go wrong. It only takes a few minutes for tragedy to occur. Make sure you are aware of your surroundings. Have fun swimming this summer, and be safe.