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6 Swimming Safety Tips Everyone Should Know Before Going in the Water

Did you know there are 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings every year? Stay safe with these swimming safety tips

Summer's coming and that means fun in the water! Swimming and hanging out at the beach or pool is one of the most looked forward to activities of the summer season. You just need to make sure to enjoy it safely.

Did you know about 10 people die from drowning every single day? Death by drowning is an unfortunate possibility any time you are around water in your summer fun. That's why it's important to follow these swimming safety tips!

Read on to learn how to enjoy your splish-splashin' safely!

1. Never Leave Children Unattended

When playing in or around water, children should always be supervised. Drowning can occur in puddles of 1 ft deep or less! Any time that water is present, you need to be supervising your child.

Your child doesn't even need to be in the water. If they inhale water, they can drown on land through a process called dry drowning.

In order to supervise swimming children, the supervisor must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Have the ability to recognize someone who is in distress and either has the ability to rescue them or immediately let Someone nearby who can know
  • Know CPR or be able to immediately notify someone nearby who can
  • Be able to dial 911 and have a working phone
  • Have a floating or reaching rescue device
  • Be free from the influence of drugs and alcohol and at full alertness
  • A supervisor is not a substitute for a trained lifeguard, and whenever possible, it is best to choose swim areas with a Lifeguard on duty.

2. Swimming Lessons For Everyone

Water-based accidents can be greatly reduced when everyone involved knows how to swim. It is important to start early and teach your child how to swim and make sure they do it well.

Just about every city offers swim lessons at the local pool in the summertime, and many even offer lessons in the winter at local high schools or gyms. By attending swim classes, your child can learn how to be safe in the water in a safe and controlled environment. They will also be tested on their skills so you know if the classes were successful or if they need a little more practice.

Kids can start learning basics as early as 6 months of age. Infant Self Rescue (ISR) technique classes can teach young children to stay safe and calm if they happen to fall into the water when you aren't looking. ISR teaches infants to roll over and float on their back, allowing them to breathe and give you time to rescue them if they should fall into the pool.

3. Feet First

When swimming in natural bodies of water, always enter feet first the first time. Diving and jumping are fun summer activities, but serious injury can occur from unseen dangers below the water's surface. Entering feet first can help minimize any injury.

Diving in head first without knowing the depth of the water or if there are any submerged rocks or logs is very dangerous. You could break your neck or hit your head and drown. Once you've determined that the water is deep enough and that there are no submerged objects by entering feet first, then dive to your heart's content!

4. Know Your Limits

It is incredibly important to know your limits when it comes to swimming. Know how long you can swim before you tire and how long you are able to tread water. You should not try and swim across a body of water if you can't tell how wide it is or how deep.

If you overexert yourself in the water and are far out from shore, you could drown.

5. Alcohol and Swimming Don't Mix

We've all heard the saying, "wait 30 minutes after you eat to swim." Well, that turns out to be a myth. When it comes to alcohol, however, that's a different story.

Alcohol (and anything that impairs motor and cognitive functioning) impairs your ability to swim well. Alcohol is a major contributor to drowning deaths. It causes 30-70% of recreational water deaths among US teens every year.

Alcohol can also lower your body temperature. When swimming in cold water, you're much more likely to suffer hypothermia if you've been drinking. In the same way that you wouldn't have a drink and then get in a car and drive, give yourself an hour after consuming alcohol before swimming.

6. Be Aware of the Weather

Any time you plan to swim outdoors it is vital that you check the weather forecast. If it looks like it may storm, then you should seek another activity. Being out in the water during a thunderstorm is very dangerous.

High winds cause large waves which can make swimming difficult or impossible, leading to drowning. Lighting strikes can kill you if you are in the water because water conducts electricity well. Remember to stay away from the water if a storm is coming, and if you are out swimming and it starts to look stormy, get to safety as soon as possible.

Swimming Safety Tips: Prevention Is Key

These swimming safety tips will help keep you safe, but the best way to prevent water-related injuries is by being proactive. Make sure that everyone is on the same page and understands how to be safe and what to do in an emergency.

We have two Dallas-area locations to serve you in your time of need. Familiarize yourself with our locations here so that when the time comes that you need emergency services, you can get here quickly and we can serve you well!