With summer in full swing, many people choose to cool off with swimming, boating, and other fun and refreshing water activities. The water is a great activity for kids and adults alike, but can also be dangerous, so keep these important safety considerations in mind before diving in!
Swim with Supervision
Never swim in a remote unsupervised swimming area. Choose public areas with lifeguards on duty. If you are swimming in a private pool, employ the buddy system to help ensure safety, but do not entrust one child’s safety entirely to another child. Even if a lifeguard is on duty, it is imperative that parents actively supervise children to prevent accidents. If your kids don’t know how to swim yet, make sure they know how far out they are allowed, and make sure they always have someone with them.
Know Basic First Aid and Life Saving Skills
When water is involved, mere seconds can make the difference between life and death. It is a very good idea to know basic lifesaving skills such as CPR and rescue breathing in case of emergency. It is also wise to put together a first aid kit and keep it with you as you participate in summer activities.
Choose your Location with Care
Be especially careful around natural bodies of water. They can be unpredictable with undercurrents and uneven footing can quickly become dangerous. Always wear some kind of foot protection in rivers or lakes.
Learn to Swim
It is extremely important for everyone in your family to learn basic swimming skills. Many communities have public organizations that offer lessons for a very reasonable price, so you can enroll kids into skill level appropriate swim classes.
Wear Life Vests
A proper fitting, coast guard approved life vest is required by law for every person on board any water craft, such as boat, kayak, canoe, or jet ski. Children under 13 years of age must have their vest on, while others are permitted to just have the vests readily accessible. Life vests are extremely important for adults and kids alike. Over two-thirds of boating fatalities are drownings, and of those drownings, over 90% of the victims were not wearing life vests.
Do not Mix Alcohol and Water Activities
Just as drinking and driving are illegal and potentially life threatening, so is drinking and boating. BUI (boating under the influence) is a federal offense, and many states are also establishing stricter boating laws to help keep all on the water safer. According to Knochel Law Offices PC, you have a responsibility to be safe in the water. Especially considering, nearly half of all boating accidents involve alcohol. Save alcohol consumption for when you are on shore with no plans to travel.
Have fun in the water this summer, but remember to take the necessary steps to stay safe and keep others safe around you.