Swim Safety Tips for Making the Summer Safe and Fun

With summer just around the corner, most of us will be making plans for a poolside or oceanfront vacation. But before you dive into summer, make sure you know the basics when it comes to swim safety.

July 10, 2015

Tips for Swim SafetyWith summer just around the corner, most of us will be making plans for a poolside or oceanfront vacation. But before you dive into the aquatic-sports season, make sure you know the basics when it comes to swimming and water safety.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 3,400 people in the U.S. die from unintentional drowning each year, and drowning is the sixth-leading cause of accidental deaths for persons of all ages.

Unsafe swimming can also lead to numerous nonfatal injuries, such as concussions and head trauma, spinal cord damage, broken bones, muscle strains and sprains, exhaustion and hypothermia.

Here are some tips for making the swimming season safe and fun:

General Swim Safety

  • Take swimming lessons, or wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket if inexperienced.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Have a phone near the water, and learn how to perform basic lifesaving actions, such as CPR, in case of emergency.
  • Check local weather conditions— never swim during a thunderstorm.

 Pool Safety

  • Walk in or jump—don’t dive—when entering the water for the first time, especially if you can’t see the bottom.
  • Maintain chlorine at recommended levels to protect against E. coli and other dangerous microorganisms that can cause gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurological and wound infections.
  • Check pool chemical levels regularly. Overuse of chemicals can be harmful, irritating the skin or causing indoor air quality problems.
  • Keep a first aid kit and rescue equipment, such as a life-ring and rope, nearby.

 Beach Safety

  • At the shore, watch for dangerous waves and signs of strong currents. If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore. Once free of the current, swim diagonally toward shore.
  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards, if possible.

Boating Safety

  • Do not swim or operate a boat if you have been drinking alcohol or if you have taken medication that alters your mental capabilities.
  • If you go boating, wear a life jacket. Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.

If you are injured while swimming, remain calm and signal a lifeguard for help. Call 911 or head straight to the hospital if you experience dizziness or confusion, faintness, breathing problems (often characterized by wheezing or shortness of breath), heart palpitations, a drop in blood pressure or difficulty swallowing.

Spending a day on the water — at a pool, on a boat or at the beach — can be a great source of fun and fitness. But it’s important to make safety a priority to protect yourself and others in and around the water.

For more information about emergency, urgent and trauma care, call 855-546-0863.

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