With summer now in full force, millions of people plan to beat the heat by taking a dip in the pool, ocean or lake. Remember, safety comes first when going for a swim. Keep in mind these six swim safety tips before jumping in.
1. Be Mindful of Pool Drains
Hundreds of people (mostly children) have been injured or even killed by old or faulty pool drains. While most drains today are made to withstand certain standards and prevent injury, tragedy can still occur. Be mindful where pool drains are located and do you best to avoid them. Make sure long hair and jewelry are secured before jumping into the pool.
2. Never Swim without a Lifeguard Present
A life-threatening injury is 7 times less likely to occur when a life guard is present. If you are taking a trip to a public pool or beach, always make sure there is a lifeguard on duty before entering the water. If you are swimming at a residential home, use the buddy system and never swim alone.
3. Ensure Children and Inexperienced Swimmers Wear Life Jackets
Anyone who is an inexperienced swimmer (including children) should always stay protected by wearing a US Coast Guard approved life jacket. Inexperienced swimmers take risks when entered the water and should play it safe by wearing life jackets.
4. Follow Rules of the Swimming Area
If you are swimming in a public area, chances are there will be rules and guidelines posted. Rules are created to ensure your safety. The most common rules are no running and no diving. Accidents most often occur because rules are broken, so be sure to follow all rules of the public swimming area.
5. Take Swimming Lessons
It’s never too early (or too late) to learn how to swim. Get children comfortable with the water at a younger age so they don’t become afraid later in life. Panic can cause swim related injury and even death. If you are an adult who doesn’t know how to swim, think about taking lessons. What you learn in swim class could help save your life or the life of another!
6. Never Leave Children Unattended
Keep an careful eye on young children. Most swim related accidents happen to kids under 5 years old. These accidents happen because children are left unattended or aren’t supervised properly. Pay extra attention to children around the pool or ocean and make sure they wear their swim gear when appropriate.