Summer is the time for water fun. This means being water-smart, having swimming skills and knowing how to help others. Children and adults alike need knowledge of water survival. Be sure you know how to enter the water, breathe, stay afloat, swim distances and get out of the water safely. Whether taking a dip in a pool or in the Gulf, children and adults alike need to be vigilent to stay safe. I have found a few tips to help keep your family safe during your time in the water this summer. I hope you enjoy Cathy’s Tuesday Tip! ~Cathy
Before taking your kids to the pool or beach this summer, teach them these 10 basic water safety tips to ensure a safe and pleasant experience.
Never Swim Alone
When swimming at a public facility or beach, only swim when there is a lifeguard on duty. They not only watch swimmers but the water as well. They are trained to be aware of dangerous conditions. If there is no lifeguard, such as a private pool, always use the buddy system. Buddies need to be aware they are to look out for one another.
Supervise Children In the Water
When children are in the water adults must stay alert. Yes, parents deserve relaxation as well, but children can easily get into trouble without anyone noticing. Younger children should always have an adult within an arms’ reach. Even experienced swimmers need adult supervision. Accidents can happen when they dive, flip, do tricks and more. The best way to stay alert is to join in the fun with the kids and make memories.
Don’t Encourage Breath- Holding Games
Children competing to hold their breath the longest can cause hyperventilation which can cause the swimmer to pass out. Children should be taught proper breathing techniques to avoid these problems.
Young children and inexperienced swimmers should always wear a Coast Guard certified life jacket around the water. Many believe floaties, pool noodles, and water wings are appropriate but they are no substitute for life-saving devices in an emergency. Parents should always be within reach even with this protection. There are no excuses to ignore children when they are in the water.
Don’t Jump in to Save a Friend
The YMCA teaches “reach, throw, don’t go.” If someone is struggling, never jump in. The one in trouble could harm the rescuer by pulling them down too. Instead, find something for them to grab to be pulled to safety.
Severe injuries can occur when a swimmer dive headfirst into shallow water. Teach swimmers to enter the water feet first. If they want to dive, be sure they are aware of where it is acceptable to do so. If there is nowhere safe, do not allow it.
Hair, bathing suits and even appendages can become stuck in broken or faulty drains. This could lead to drowning or serious injuries. Teach children to stay away from these areas. If you notice a drain cover is missing or damaged, report it or repair it immediately.
Stay Within Designated Swim Zones
In some situations there may be designated swimming areas. Ropes or buoys are there to keep swimmers safe. Teach children to stay clear of these areas and follow the guidelines.
Alcohol impairs judgement, coordination and balance. It can affect swimming ability and can lower one’s body temperature. Drinking may be a distraction and leave you unable to function if an emergency were to arise. It may be enjoyable to have a cold beverage by the pool or on the beach, but it is a potential hazard to mix waterplay and alcohol.
In the unfortunate event that an accident does happen, it is useful to know CPR. Bystanders are typically the first available to react and respond. It is critical for those around to be familiar with lifesaving techniques like CPR. This can be the difference between life and death. Check the American Red Cross for CPR class schedules.
Being vigilant around the water this summer will create a safe and secure environment while you and your family makes beautiful memories. Using these tips will give you peace of mind while enjoying the water.
I hope you enjoyed Cathy’s Tuesday Tip this week. To view more of Cathy’s Tuesday Tips, visit our blog.