Pools across the country are preparing to open for the season. Sunny days spent poolside conjure up some of our best summer memories. To make this season not only memorable but safe, we have complied this list of helpful water safety tips.
- Never swim alone. Teach your children to look for the “Lifeguard on Duty” sign. If they are swimming in a private pool, be sure they understand the importance of the buddy system and how to call 911 should an emergency arise.
- Always supervise children when they are in or around water. As a rule of thumb, a responsible adult should always be within an arm’s reach of a young child. This rule holds true for all bodies of water. Accidents happen in pools, lakes, streams and tubs.
- Do not play games that involve holding breath. This can cause drowning accidents and has several other risks. If a swimmer holds their breath too long or hyperventilates before going under water, they are at risk of passing out under water.
- Always wear a life vest if you are an inexperienced swimmer or a young child. Pool toys such as inner tubes, rafts and pool noodles are not safe substitutes for a life jacket/vest.
- Avoid using alcohol. Alcohol impairs judgment and reaction time which can be life threatening if there is an emergency in or around the pool.
- Use sunscreen. We all want that kissed by the sun glow, but the suns rays can be damaging. Be sure to put some protection between your skin and those rays.
- Teach children to always ask permission to go near the water.
- Even strong swimmers should evaluate their risks and take appropriate steps to insure they are safe in the water.
- Be sure every member of your family can swim.
- Fence pools and spas with adequate barriers. Keep patio doors locked so as not to be easily accessible by young children.
This list is by no means inclusive of all the factors to take into consideration when enjoying the water, but it is a good place to start. For more great tips and information on water safety, visit www.redcross.org In the meantime, continue to be safe and enjoy the pool!