It’s safe swim week, just in time for the pools to open, and we want you to be prepared before you take a splash. Here are ways to stay safe while swimming this season.
- Know how to swim before getting in and don’t swim alone. Without question, knowing how to swim is one of the top ways to be safe while swimming. At the very least, know how to float on your back. Typically, floating on your back is the ultimate swim “go-to” move in instances when you get off your floating device, only to realize you can’t touch the bottom or you just want to relax your muscles.
- Don’t swim solo. It is always good to have someone with you while swimming. You never know when a medical issue will arise—and in the event something happens, you will want someone there to help.
- Stay hydrated and apply sunscreen. Drinking water every 30 minutes will keep your body hydrated and reduce the risk of heat-related Additionally, protecting your skin from a sunburn is important for a number of reasons, mainly because sunburns increase the risk of skin cancer. Furthermore, don’t think you are safe from the sun just because your body is underwater. UV rays reflect off the water, making you more susceptible to burning. Believe it or not, you won’t know if you’re burnt until hours later due to the body’s delayed reaction to the damage. So, use a waterproof sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher before going out and reapply every couple hours while outdoors.
- Avoid alcohol. If there is a float trip or pool party, chances are there will be alcoholic beverages present. Alcohol consumption contributes to a major amount of accidents. Being inebriated causes impaired judgment and recklessness—not a good recipe for safety. Not only that, but alcohol dehydrates you and when you are dehydrated in the summer sun, the likelihood of having a heat related illness, like a heat stroke, increases.
- Only swim in designated areas and notice warning signs. Make sure there is a lifeguard present at all times in areas you plan to swim and think twice about swimming in natural bodies of water—lakes, oceans, or rivers—due to currents, unknown depth, pollution, etc. Obey the warning signs as well, such as “No Diving”, “No Running”, and especially, “Swim at your own risk”. Lastly, be cautious when diving and never dive into unknown depths. Accidents and even deaths have occurred from misjudging or not knowing the water levels.
- Keep an eye on the weather. When it’s cloudy, watch for lightening and listen for thunder. At the sign of either, hop out and get indoors.
I know this list may sound a little intimidating or scary, but the more you know, the safer you will be. Swim Safe and Have Fun! <3