6 Ways to be Safer this Summer
National Water Safety Month may have just winded down, but we’re committed to keeping you informed about lessons and health. On June 20th, we’ll be teaming up with over 600 locations spread across 27 countries for the World's Largest Swimming Lesson™, to spread the message that Swimming Lesson Save Lives™. Being water aware is a key part of keeping your child safe both by the poolside and elsewhere, and learning to swim in a supervised environment can be an important first step.
Water-related accidents are a major contributor to injury statistics globally, and our goal is to help keep those numbers out of mind. During the Worlds Largest Swim Lesson we’ll be teaching a set curriculum based around water safety, including how to keep safe near and around water, proper supervision, and emergency preparedness provided by the World Waterpark Association. It’s important to us that you and your child know the proper water safety information, especially as we’re entering the summer months. Playing by the pool can be a great way to spend time on a sunny day, and it’s better knowing the steps you and your loved ones can take to keep it fun and worry-free.
Below, we’ve listed some tips to touch up on before that poolside barbeque or trip to the beach!
It’s important that you always apply sunscreen twenty minutes before swimming to all exposed or potentially exposable skin. 20 minutes gives the sunscreen time to dry and properly protect your body before jumping in, so that the sunscreen doesn’t wash off when you enter the pool. Overexposure to the sun is the most easily preventable cause of skin cancer, and the American Academy of Dermatology recommends an SPF of 30 or higher every time you’re out in the sun for extended periods of time, and that, if going in the water, you look for the words water resistant. Hats and shirts are recommended, too, because they act as additional shields in blocking harmful UV radiation.
Most pools have posted safety rules and warnings, like no running and different times lifeguards are on deck. These are posted for a reason! For instance, running is off-limits by the pool because of the chance a child can slip and heavily injure themselves - by following the pool rules, safety stays a priority. Make sure you also teach your child not to drink the pool water because it’s most often chlorinated, and to not eat or drink while in the pool to reduce the risk of choking.
At the beach, make sure to be on the lookout for manned lifeguard towers, the raised huts on the sand, and to look out for the marker flags. Yellow means moderate currents, so not recommended for weaker swimmers, and a lone red flag means high hazard, like riptides and strong surf. A red flag over a yellow means a lifeguard-protected area, and is usually placed on either end of the designated spot. Also follow the rules and warnings on the beachfront signs, because certain areas have dangerous cliffs, slippery rocks, or coral hidden under the tides.
Supervision is key.
Always make sure to watch your child in and around the pool, or to make sure that there are posted lifeguards or instructors. Drowning or other injury can happen silently and in seconds, and keeping an eye on your child can mean a world of difference. Don’t leave your children, especially the very young, unattended even for a moment!
Don’t take chances.
Exhaustion, bad weather, and swimming over your level or too far away from safety are recipes for disaster. Making sure to wear the proper flotation devices for weak or non-swimmers is important for safety, and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Don’t let your kids dive in shallow areas or where it’s disallowed, and make sure they’re not too tired to continue swimming when doing laps or other strenuous activity. It’s also important to avoid outdoor pools in storms and other bad weather. Finally, make sure that you and your children are never swimming alone!
Learn to swim.
As always, learning to swim is the best thing you can do to stay safer in and around water, for all ages. By starting early, you can not only gain the necessary life-saving and emergency skills needed lifelong by the water, but improve your heart and lung health and motor skills. Here at Waterworks, we offer swim classes starting at 3 months old, including Parent and Me courses, Swimming and Lifesaving Workshops, and Junior Lifeguard preparation!
Hope to see you at the World’s Largest Swim Lesson this coming Thursday, June 20th, at any of our main Aquatic Centers!