Swim Safety Smarts
When the sun comes out everyone wants to be in or around the water. Spending time at the pool or the beach on a hot day is a great way to beat the heat.
Swimming is a lot of fun, but drowning is a real danger. For people between the ages of 5 and 24, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Most water-related accidents can be avoided by knowing how to stay safe and following these few simple guidelines.
- “Buddy up!”– Always swim with another person — whether you’re swimming in a pool or in a lake. Even experienced swimmers can become tired or get muscle cramps, which might make it difficult to get out of the water. When people swim together, they can help each other or go for help in case of an emergency.
- Get skilled –Speaking of emergencies, it’s good to be prepared. Taking swimming lessons and learning some life-saving skills, such as CPR and rescue techniques, can help you save a life and be fully prepared for the water.
- Know your limits –Swimming can be a lot of fun — and you might want to stay in the water as long as possible. If you’re not a good swimmer or you’re just learning to swim, don’t go in water that’s so deep that you can’t touch the bottom and don’t try to keep up with skilled swimmers. That can be hard, especially when your friends are challenging you — but it’s a pretty sure bet they’d rather have you safe and alive.
- Swim in safe areas only – Swimming in an ocean, river or lake is different from swimming in a pool. You need more energy to handle the currents and other changing conditions in the water. So, it’s a good idea to swim only in places that are supervised by a lifeguard. If something does go wrong, lifeguards are trained in rescue techniques.
Lastly, remember to have fun! The pool and the beach are great places to learn new skills, socialise, and have a great time! So don’t let paying attention to safety put you off. Being prepared for the water will make you feel more comfortable and in charge.