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Water Safety Tips for an Active and Safe Summer

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Last year shortly after school let out for the summer, our community suffered a tragedy. A happy, smart, and beautiful six-year-old little boy drowned in a swim club pool while attending a classmate's birthday party. What made this tragedy so shocking was the fact that he drowned while surrounded by lifeguards, adults, and a pool full of swimmers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "drowning is the sixth leading cause of unintentional injury death for people of all ages, and the second leading cause of death for children ages one to fourteen."

Swimming and other water recreational activities are very popular in the United States, especially during the summer and are great ways to be active. To help educate the public about safer water practices, May was named National Water Safety Month. Here are a few water safety tips to help keep your summer active, safe and enjoyable.

  • Establish a "designated watcher" to actively supervise swimmers by remaining close to the water, conducting frequent head counts, and stepping in when there is too much horsing around. Watch this short video for more helpful tips.

  • Teach children to stay away from pool skimmers, pipes and other pool equipment and to never sit on or play around pool drains. Watch this short video for more helpful tips.

  • Learn water safety and swimming skills as early as possible. Also, remember that although a person may have had swimming lessons, they are not "drownproof" and still in need of monitoring especially if they are under the age of fourteen. Watch this short video for more helpful tips.

  • Knowing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and how to use an AED (automated external defibrillator) could save the life of someone that has had a water accident. Watch this short video for more helpful tips.

  • Be sure private pools and spas have appropriate safety covers and that above ground pool ladders are raised and locked when not in use. Watch this short video for more helpful tips.
You and your family and friends can also take the Safe Swimmer Pledge:
1. I pledge to never swim alone
2. I pledge to never play or swim near drains or suction fittings
3. When diving I pledge to steer up, and away from the bottom
4. I pledge to obey the pool rules

Make this summer an active one with lots of swimming and water play but be sure to do it safely.

Are you safe in the water? Are there water rules you need to pay closer attention to following?

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Comments / Please use this link and see what drowning DOESN'T look like. Perhaps this is one of the reasons so many drown when others are around - no one realizes they are in distress! Very important and feel free to share the site. Report
I live in Florida and we had a 4 year old drown at the backwater of the beach when her Dad claimed he just "looked away for a second" and she was gone. Apparently, she'd stepped off in a hole. When they found her body, it was WAY out in the sound. So, I know I never wanted to ever deal with this as it is something I knew I'd never get over, so when my children were small, I put swim vest on them (not arm floats.) People looked at me like I was stupid, but I didn't care. I took them for swimming lessons as well and to the pool every summer. I didn't want one of them to drown. Report
Since I live in a state where pools are abundant as is, surprisingly, water recreation areas, I am hyper vigilant around water...especially if children are about. We had security doors installed on our back sliding door and bedroom door because they lead to our backyard and the pool area...not to keep people out, but to keep little ones in. Way to many drownings in our only takes a second on inattention. Watch your kids around water..not just the babies. Report
Thanks so much for the info. I am crazy about the water, and will be swimming in the ocean in two weeks. We always swim together, never alone, but I see a lot of people out there by themselves, not good. It is very important to watch the kids,at all times. Report
Excellent. Report
My daughter is starting her fourth summer as a lifeguard. She also swam competitively for 6 years. (I wish I could swim as well as her. Lol.) Out of curiosity, I just asked her what the number one piece of advice she would offer to parents. (She couldn't stop at one thing.)
1. Don't depend on floaties for your young kids. It gives them and a false sense of security and the first time they go in the water without them, they will have a problem.
2. Start with swimming lessons as young as possible
3. Don't yell at the lifeguard if they "dare" to discipline your kids while they are in the pool. They aren't being "mean" when they tell your kids to stop climbing on each other, dunking each other, running on the deck, etc. etc.
4. Don't try to talk to the lifeguard on the deck while they are watching the pool. If they are watching your kids they can't go change the toilet paper in the bathroom. Report
Thanks for the info Report
I teach/ am an adminstrator at a school. My principal and I just did a water safety session for every child in our school. We both worked at the local pool when we were younger, were guards and instructors. We did demos, watched a video, and practice some Red Cross chants = "Think so You don't Sink!", "Reach, Throw, but NEVER go!", "Don't just pack it, wear your jacket". (a little disclaimer, - it's now called a PFD), "Be COOL, follow the rule".
If it saves just one life or injury, it's worth my bruised knees from being the "drowning victim'' in the demos three times!
I live in Arizona, and We've already had several drownings, both adults and children. The most common place thing we hear is "I only turned around for a second" or "I thought someone else was watching them" Report
Great information! I think it's also important to remind people to take refresher courses in CPR too. Just because you learned it once...doesn't mean you'll remember how if you don't practice it. Report
Because I am not comfortable in water, I pay close attention to safety rules. Report
Thanks for the info. Education is so important in being a good role model. Please don't drink (alcohol) and dive and don't let your friends do it either. Report
thanks for the timely reminder! Report
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