Swimming can be an incredibly fun activity and certainly a great way to cool off, but it’s an activity that should never be taken lightly where safety is concerned. Whether you’re in a lake, river, ocean or pool, there are always dangers lurking right below the surface. As a parent, active participant, or casual observer you should always be aware of these dangers and be ready to respond to them. Here are some ways that you can maximize safety without having to sacrifice fun!
- Never swim alone!
- Never swim at night in unlit areas.
- Only swim in areas that have a certified lifeguard on-duty.
- Know where the nearest lifeguard is at all times.
- Don’t go swimming if you are tired, cold, or overheated.
- Never swim in an area with cloudy water or where it’s deep enough that you can’t see the bottom.
- If possible, always know how deep the water you are swimming in is. If the depth is unknown, do not jump or dive in the water.
- Get out of the water if you see lightning or hear thunder.
- Never swim near a dam, boat ramp, or pier as currents may be stronger near them.
- When swimming in rivers, avoid swimming in or near the river currents. When swimming in the ocean, pay attention to the strength of the waves and the strength of the undercurrent.
As a homeowner with a pool, your responsibility and need for caution is significantly increased. Not only do you need to be concerned about your own safety while swimming, but also that of your guests, whether they are invited or uninvited. Responsibility like that can be stressful but, if you’re prepared, it doesn’t have to be. You can reduce the stress of being a pool owner by following a few simple rules.
- Make sure you have “No Trespassing”, “No Lifeguard On Duty”, and “Do Not Swim Unattended” signs clearly posted around your property.
- Never leave a child unattended in or near water.
- Teach children how to swim, and to stay away from drains.
- Know how to perform CPR on children and adults.
- Make sure to have plenty of USCG approved flotation devices readily available for use.
- Install proper barriers and covers on your pool, and extend your home alarm system to cover the area around your pool.
- Add monitored surveillance cameras to your security system so that you will always know when someone is around your pool.
Swimming should be an enjoyable activity, not a stressful one! Take the time to familiarize yourself with the dangers involved with swimming so you’re prepared to handle any situation that may arise!