Summer in particular is a great time to enjoy water, whether it be a pool or at the beach, swimming is a great activity that people of all ages can enjoy. It's very important to be safe in and around the water. Here are some swimming safety tips to keep in mind before you head out to the pool or beach.
- Never swim alone. It's always a good idea to swim with someone.
- Watch children near water, never leave a young child alone. Teach children to ask permission to go near water.
- Make sure young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water.
- Always supervise.
- Swimming lessons for all family members is a great way to prevent water accidents.
- If you own a pool, make sure it is properly secured. Many times children who drown in home pools were only out of sight for less than five minutes and usually one of both parents were home at the time.
- Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
- If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
- Make sure you have appropriate equipment available, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
- Protect your skin. During the hours of 10 am and 4pm, limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive. Always wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15.
- Drink plenty of water through out the day while you are outside and in the water.
According to the USA Swimming Foundation nearly 90 children younger than 15 drowned in a pool or spa from January through May 2018. During the 4th of July Holiday, around 19 children drown every year.
- 74% of drowning incidents for children younger than 15 between 2015 and 2017 occurred in residential locations.
- 351 children younger than 15 died in pools and spas in 2015 and emergency departments treat about 6,400 pool and spa injuries in children younger than 15 every year.
- Drownings continue to be the second leading cause of preventable death through age 15.
As the summer months are upon us, it's a good reminder to make sure we are all paying attention and educating ourselves and others about water safety.