Summer Safety: Water Tips

swimsafelyThere’s no time like the summertime! It’s finally warm enough to go swimming. As you’re breaking out your bikini or swim trunks, take some time to remember certain safety measures to practice when it comes to water. The Red Cross has a number of helpful tips for disaster prevention.

Never leave a child unattended! Even if lifeguards are present, there should be a designated familiar adult easily accessible to the child. Have young or inexperienced swimmers wear a life jacket or some kind of flotation device. Teach children to always ask permission before going near water. Practice the “buddy system” when swimming, even if at a public pool or beach.

To prevent unsupervised access to water install barriers around your pool or hot tub. Make sure the barriers are taller than a child and enclose the entire pool area. Remove the latter from above ground pools when they are not in use to keep kids from climbing in without permission. Remove pool toys when you’re done swimming to eliminate the temptation to a child.

If you go boating, make sure everyone on board, including the driver, is wearing a life jacket. Most boating fatalities happen as a result of drowning. Avoid alcohol use when boating and when around water. Alcohol impairs judgment and affects swimming and diving skills.

Even if you do not plan on swimming, still practice caution around natural bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, ponds or the ocean shoreline. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can turn a fall into any of these dangerous.