Staying Safe in the Water – Melissa Hull

Staying Safe in the Water

 

Everyone wants to enjoy their summertime activities, but it’s important to temper that desire for fun with an interest in remaining safe, particularly when it comes to activities like boating or swimming.  The following safety tips can ensure that you and your family enjoy a happy and safe time in the water.   It is estimated that an average of ten people die every day from water-related accidents.  This makes it fairly obvious that more care and attention are needed when planning or engaging in water-related activities.  First, we will cover what issues might arise during water-related activities, and how to combat these issues.

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The most obvious of these issues would be the inability to swim. 

Many people are unable to swim, or unable to swim strongly.  The easiest way to combat this is also quite obvious, as there are any numbers of businesses and organizations which can teach you, such as your local YMCA or YWCA.

On a related note, whether or not someone is a strong swimmer, accidents can happen at any time.  For this reason, it is vitally important to never joke about drowning, act like you can’t swim if you can, or anything of the like.  These actions can take away from a lifeguard’s ability to help people actually in need.

Another major factor in water-related accidents is alcohol consumption. 

No one should ever go swimming or engage in any other water-related activity, while under the influence of alcohol.  Alcohol consumption is involved in around 70% of all water recreation deaths.  The lack of proper safety equipment is also a factor in water-related deaths, as around 88% of those who die in boating accidents are not wearing a life jacket or other safety gear.

Make sure to always use the buddy system when swimming, and never go swimming alone under any circumstances. 

To extend this further, it is also important for stronger swimmers to keep an eye on those who have less confidence in the water, for adults to pay more attention to small children, and other related ideas.  Enrolling in safety classes to learn CPR and other basic first aid can help save lives during an emergency.

There are other factors involved in water safety as well, which change depending on the specific situation. 

For instance, if you have a private pool, it’s essential that you have security fencing surrounding the area so that unattended children or pets do not accidentally drown themselves.  When swimming or engaging in other water-related activities in locations beyond the backyard pool, it’s important to check the availability of lifeguards, the location of the nearest First Aid Station, and other concerns.  For swimming or other activities in the ocean or other large bodies of water, make sure you swim in well-lit, populated areas, with a preference for areas that also have lifeguards in attendance.

  Just following these simple safety tips can ensure you have a fun and also a safe time in and around the water!

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