There has been a number of swimming related tragedies and instances in the news this summer. Accordingly, it seems appropriate to review some basic swim safety rules.
First, it is important to understand that although swimming is very enjoyable, it can also be very dangerous and even potentially fatal. Each year in the United States there are close to 4,000 fatal unintentional drownings. That equals approximately ten deaths per day!
Always obey pool rules. Walk, don’t run, around a pool area. Make sure that the depth of the water is appropriate for your youngsters just learning to swim. Don’t push or jump on others. You could accidentally hurt yourself or someone else leading to a water injury.
Always swim with a buddy. Even experienced swimmers can become tired, get muscles cramps, or get in trouble in the water. When people swim together they can help each other, or go for help in case of an emergency.
Know how deep the water is before you dive in. Pay close attention to signs that say “No Diving”. In addition, never dive into a lake or a river unless you are certain as to how deep it is.
When swimming in open water, always watch for dangerous waves or signs of riptides. Riptides are currents that can easily pull young children under and away from shore.
Always designate a responsible adult to watch children when they are swimming. Please note this applies to taking baths also! When adults are supervising young swimmers, they should not be distracted by other activities, such as talking on their cell phone. Swimming and alcohol do not mix.
Swimming can be great family fun, fitness, and recreation; but, being careless can result in tragedy. Please use extreme care when swimming and be sure to watch the youngsters.