A dip in the pool or at the lake is a fun and relaxing way to stay cool during these dog days of summer. But no matter how experienced of a swimmer you or your children might be, thousands of people drown or experience drowning-related injuries each year with many such victims also being accomplished swimmers.
So before you pack the cooler, sunblock, beach towels and head to the water’s edge, keep your family safe and sound by following these important tips.
- Sign your children up for formal swimming lessons at an early age to greatly reduce their risk of drowning – by up to 88%.
- Never leave a child near or in water unattended and remember that it only takes seconds and a couple feet of water for a child to drown.
- Avoid swimming alone especially where no life guards are present, and never swim under the influence of alcohol.
- Know what drowning looks like. If you see someone who looks like they are simply treading water but are gasping for air, bobbing up and down with their arms stretched out, get help immediately.
- Only use a Coast-Guard approved swim vest for your little swimmer.
- Understand the various dangers that could be present in different bodies of water before heading in and how to survive in them. For example, if caught in a rip tide, swim parallel to – not towards – shore until you are free or can signal for help.
- Get out of the water and seek shelter at the first rumble of thunder or crack of lightening.
It’s bad enough when friends and loved ones suffer injuries from unavoidable incidents, but far worse when the cause could have been eliminated.