Water safety means more than listening for trouble. Most of us picture “drowning” as someone flailing in the water while crying out for help, so we believe that we will hear a struggle and act in time to avoid a disaster.
But in reality, drowning is a silent event. A drowning person is focused on getting air and keeping her head out of the water. Small children, who are top-heavy, can topple into a water bucket or slip into the pool without a sound.
The best protection is prevention. Most importantly, learn to swim and enroll your family members in swim lessons. Everyone can learn to swim. Other ways to stay safe:
- Never swim alone, even if you’re good at it.
- Never leave children unattended in or around the water.
- If you own a pool, enclose it on all sides; secure and lock gates and fences.
- Hire a lifeguard or designate a pool watcher for pool parties. Adults can take turns actively watching. (No talking, eating or socializing while on watch.)
- Always swim near a lifeguard at the beach
- Learn about rip-current safety. When in doubt, don’t go out.
- Take a CPR course to learn what to do in an emergency.
Water sports and safety are a great combination for refreshing summer fun. Fill your summer with cool, happy memories by planning for safety first.