With the weather finally starting to heat up and shelter-in-place restrictions relaxing, a dip in a pool, lake or ocean sounds tempting. 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 simple water safety tips, you're not only able to protect your family but yourself as well this summer.
COVID-19 And Water Safety
Public pools and areas with water are beginning to open after a national shutdown from the coronavirus pandemic, but strategies must be in place and followed in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. By following these behaviors promoted by the CDC, you're not only able to protect your family and yourself but other people as well this summer.
Cloth Face Coverings
The use of clot face coverings are recommended. Face coverings are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult. However, do not wear face coverings in the water. Cloth face coverings can be difficult to breathe through when they’re wet.
Reducing Community Exposures to COVID-19
Do not go to the pool if you have symptoms of COVID-19, have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, or were exposed to someone with COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
Swimming Safety Tips
Before you go swim in a pool, lake or ocean with your family, review these 10 water safety tips:
- 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.
- Take 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.
Boating Safety Tips
Before you go out on a boat in your favorite lake, review these 10 boating safety tips:
- 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.
Last month, the American Heart Association announced new interim CPR guidelines due to social distancing and COVID-19. It is being referred to as 2 steps to save a life. Step one is to call 9-1-1. Step two is to place your hands in the middle of the chest and press hard and fast. Learn how to do hands-only CPR.
Organizations that offer training include the American Heart Association, American Red Cross and other agencies. Once you're CPR certified, be sure to keep your certification current to keep your skills sharp!
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By Nicole Bixler