Water Safety 101
With the weather finally starting to heat up, what better way to cool off than a dip in a pool, lake or ocean? However, it's important that you are aware of how to be safe both in and around the water. Did you know thousands of Americans are seriously injured or even killed yearly from both swimming and boating accidents? By following these guidelines, you're not only able to protect your family but yourself as well this summer.
- Keep a close eye on the kids, even if there's a lifeguard present.
- Have a nearby telephone in case of emergency situation arises.
- Encourage the buddy system.
- Partake in swimming, diving and water safety classes that provide skills that allow for safe, fun times.
- Make sure everyone knows the safety measures and rules upon entering the pool.
- Be within an arm’s length, providing constant “touch supervision”, when infants or toddlers are in or around water
- Never assume your child can swim on their own. Many may forget, especially when in a stressful situation.
- Never keep hazards on pool deck that could cause tripping or other injuries (pool toys, personal items, etc.).
- Never swim or dive under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
- Never stay in the water during storms or severe weather.
- Never leave children alone or in the care of another child while in or near bathtubs, pools, spas, or other open water.
- Never engage in distracting activities while supervising children that are swimming.
- Check your weather and water conditions prior to leaving the shore.
- Follow procedures that come with the boat.
- Make sure to have visual distress devices on board (flares, distress flags, lights, whistles, etc.).
- Inform someone when and where you'll be boating.
- Encourage the use of life jackets while on board.
- Never drink while boating.
- Never carry above the maximum number or weight of passengers listed on your boat.
- Never dive into unknown bodies of water due to possible shallow bottoms, hidden rocks, etc.
- Never swim during any type of storms or severe weather.
- Never swim alone.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a key skill everyone should learn. If an emergency situation arises, you save a life by knowing this crucial skill. Bystanders are the first to aid a drowning victim. Your knowledge of CPR can reduce the severity of injuries, improve chances of survival and even save lives. CPR training is available through Franciscan Health at various locations. Find an upcoming class near you.
Other organizations that offer training are the American Heart Association, American Red Cross and other agencies. Once you're CPR certified, be sure to keep your certification current!
By Nicole Bixler