Warm weather is here; pools, rivers, lakes and even the beaches are going to become crowded. Swimming is a great way to beat the heat, but there are always possible dangers when you’re around water. Keep these water safety tips for your family in mind the next time you’re enjoying a swim.
Children and pets are probably the most at risk around a swimming pool. Both should be supervised at all times. Make sure to both explain rules to children, and to enforce them. Rules to teach children include:
- No diving
- Keep away from drainage areas
- Walk instead of run
- Swim with a buddy
Even if you aren’t using your pool, accidents can still happen. To keep young children, neighbors, and pets from wandering too close to the pool, have a fence installed around the swimming area and make sure the gate has a lock. There are also alarms that can be installed on the gate to alert you when someone passes through.
River, Lake and Ocean Safety
For more nature-friendly families, rivers, lakes and the beach are favorite places to visit during the warmer months of the year. While many water safety tips for your family still apply at these places, there are also a few others to keep in mind.
Most importantly, be aware of your surroundings. Many natural water features will have hazards which will normally be marked with warning signs if you’re at a popular state or county park. Pay attention to these signs and point them out to your children so they can be aware of the hazards. At many lakes, swimming areas are clearly marked. Stick to these spots.
At rivers, look out for slippery or slick banks. Pets, children and adults alike could easily slip while going down the bank and hurt themselves in the process. Slick banks also make it hard to get out of the water in case of an emergency. In both rivers and the ocean, pay attention to the strength of the currents and keep children away from stronger ones.
Always keep an eye out for wildlife. Humans aren’t the only ones who love cool water during a heat wave, and an accidental meet-up is always possible. Rivers and lakes are known for fish, turtles and sometimes snakes lurking under the water or nearby on the banks. Oceans have the extra threat of larger fish, jellyfish and other sea creatures.
Finally, no matter whether you’re enjoying a swim at a man-made pool or lake, or at a natural body of water, it’s a good idea to keep an emergency first-aid kit with you.
With the proper water safety tips for your family, parental attention and a good first aid kit you’ll be prepared for anything.