Summer Swimming Safety

Summer is here, and as the temperatures continue to rise, more and more people will be seeking relief in cool pools, rivers, and lakes. There’s no better way to beat the summer heat than splashing around in the water, but there are a few risks that you have to keep in mind. Here are a few summer swimming safety tips that can help keep you and your family safe and healthy this summer.

  • It doesn’t matter how dark your skin is or how difficult it is for you to develop a sunburn — everybody should wear sun screen. Sunburns, while unpleasant, are just the tip of the iceberg. Overexposure to the sun can cause permanent damage to your skin and eyes, and can lead to skin cancer. Wear sun screen any time you spend long periods of time outside.
  • Adult supervision is absolutely necessary when swimming with children. Don’t leave children unattended for any period of time. Drowning is the second most common cause of death from injuries in children under the age of 14. It can happen in the blink of an eye, so it’s important to constantly be on watch.
  • Pools have ” Do not run” signs posted around the swimming area. This isn’t true of lakes, rivers, and streams, however. Pay attention and walk slowly on slippery surfaces to avoid injury or drowning.
  • Teach children how to swim. It’s important that they also learn how to float and tread water.
  • Swimming pools or designated swimming areas typically won’t have much in the way of surprises, but natural swimming areas are a little less reliable. Check the swimming areas before swimming. Uneven depths, submerged rocks or trees, underwater reeds, currents, etc. can be dangerous.
  • Inflatable toys, water wings, pool noodles, etc. are loads of fun, but they are not a substitute for a life vest. If you or your child cannot swim, do not rely on toys to stay afloat.
  • Know how to do CPR.
  • Never swim alone. Even strong and experienced swimmers should swim with a partner.
  • Being in water is not the same thing as staying hydrated (cue The Rime of the Ancient Mariner). Splashing around all day in endless amounts of water can make it easy to forget to stay hydrated. Make sure you drink plenty of liquids…
  • But avoid drinking the water that you’re swimming in. Even if you’re swimming in a crystal clear river, bacteria, microorganisms, or other contaminants can be swimming around with you. Drinking this water can make you ill.
  • Be careful near strong currents like those found in oceans, rivers, or streams.
  • Don’t swim out too far in large bodies of water.
  • Don’t swim at night.
  • Don’t swim in storms.

Swimming can be a great way to stay active and stay cool during the summer. Just make sure that you stay safe!