We are now well into the summer season; a time for going on holiday, enjoying barbeques and of course, trips to the beach. Whether you are going to the local lake, a tropical beach or your very own pool the promise of an escape from the harsh sun, a way of cooling off and a free place to play is enough to make even the most safety conscious person forget the dangers that the water holds. So the following are my top tips for staying safe in and around water this summer:
#1. Take at least one friend.
If you have a friend with you, they will be able to call the emergency services if you get into trouble in the water. But even better than that take two friends because while one of them is calling the emergency services the other could be trying to find a log or even a beach ball to throw to you so you can float easier.
#2. Know your limits.
If you are not a confident swimmer make sure you stay in the shallow water with a very soft current so there is less chance of you getting in trouble. Also, if you start to feel worn out or tired at any point, swim to the shore or to the edge of the pool. There is no shame in taking a break.
#3. Never swim intoxicated.
With it being summer everyone is drinking or taking drugs at parties, but if you decide you will go for a swim, make sure it is before you start drinking or doing drugs. Once you are intoxicated your reflexes are slowed, your judgment is impaired and your coordination has gone out of the window so it would be much harder to stay afloat and swim.
#4. Don’t jump into the water to save someone.
If you jump into the water to save someone both of you could be put in danger. It is much safer to immediately phone the emergency services and throw them a life ring, a log or even a beach ball so they can stay afloat while the emergency services arrive.
#5. Don’t leave young children unattended.
Make sure you are with your child in the water and make sure they have Coast-guard approved life jackets or armbands. If you are near the water make sure you have assigned someone the job of being ‘water-watcher’ and keeping an eye on all the children. Also, never assume a child (or anyone else) who has had formal swimming training is immune to drowning.
#6. Don’t panic.
If you do find yourself in trouble in the water stay as calm as possible and try to float, then try and catch someone on shore a lifeguard’s attention (you could do this by waving your arms or shouting, but do not use all your energy shouting).
#7. Look up information online.
Just one search online can take you to your local Coastguard’s website, which should give a run down of the rules of the water and extra information of first aid.
Please enjoy your summer and stay safe. I have listed some websites below that include information on other safety points, first aid, etc.: