As the summer weather starts getting warmer, people all over the country will be heading to water: pools, lakes, water parks, the beach, or whatever is closest. Water serves many purposes in the body and is one of the best summer retreats, but it can also be dangerous, if the proper precautions are not taken. Dangers can range to everything from minor cuts and scrapes to fatality. Before you head to the water this summer, take a look at some of these things you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
1. The most helpful think you can do is learn to swim. No matter if you’re planning on getting in the water, or you just plan on being out on a boat, swimming is the number one preemptive approach to keeping yourself safe this summer if you plan on being anywhere near a body of water. Swimming lessons aren’t just for children and it’s never too late to learn. If you don’t know how to swim yet, look into taking some classes before you hit the beach.
2. Always be aware of your surroundings. Whether you’re at a pool, a lake, or the ocean, you should always know what’s around you. Be aware of docks and diving boards, possible boats, and other people already in the water. In a pool, give the children limitations on how far out they can go before they get to the deep end, and in a larger body of water such as a lake, you should be just as aware of what’s underneath the water as what’s above it. Aquatic life, such as plants and animals, can become a danger if not taken into consideration.
3. When it comes to children in the water, make sure that the inexperienced swimmers are geared up with floatation devices. You can easily find floaties and other things at your local retail store such as Walmart, K-Mart, or Target. Never leave children, whether they can swim or not, unattended in or around a body of water. It is also safer to always swim where there is a lifeguard on duty.
4. Do not mix alcohol with water fun this summer. While out on the water, it’s important to have a good time, but alcohol also impairs reflexes, coordination, and judgment. This applies to not just swimming, but boating, as well. The ability to operate a boat while intoxicated can be just as dangerous as driving a car under the influence.
5. Many times there are rules posted around the area, especially if at a public pool. The rules are there for the purpose of keeping everyone safe. Always observe and obey the what’s posted around the water and be sure that everyone in your party, especially children, are familiar with the rules and what to do in case something happens.
Water safety this summer is of the utmost importance as the summer months turn warmer. The biggest defense against a water-related disaster this summer, is being prepared and knowledgeable. Caution can go just as far as knowing what to do in case of an emergency. The most important part to having fun at the waterside this summer is just to be cautious and aware. You never know what could happen, so it’s pertinent to be prepared.