Thursday, June 30, 2011

Swimming Safety

Summer is a great time for being near the water, swimming, boating, water skiing, fishing, and wading by the waves. Summer is also the time of year where drowning and near drowning accidents occur even with the best of swimmers.

Here are a few tips to keep your children safe near the water.
  • Never let children swim alone. Always have a buddy, and swim where there are adults to supervise
  • Wear appropriate life vests for pools and boating especially if children and adults do not know how to swim
  • Supervise children around ponds and streams. Don't allow them to play alone near the water.
  • Consider swimming lessons for children who love the water but also for those afraid. Lessons can ease the fears and teach confidence.
  • Don't allow running on concrete surfaces near the pool. Running on wet surfaces can lead to falls in or near the water leading to drowning or cause injuries from the hard concrete.
  • Encourage rest periods out of the water every hour for 10-15 minutes. This keeps children from becoming over tired in the pool.
  • Use water proof sunscreen to prevent painful sunburn
  • Use caution when diving. Children should not dive off the side of a pool or into shallow water. Neck injuries leading to paralysis and near drownings are common with this type of activity.
These tips follow the lines of common sense but always a good reminder as summer gets into full swing. Sometimes children and adults that are overconfident become lax in supervising those children who may not be as skilled. Young children also may know the rules of the pool but forget when they are alone and that same pool looks so inviting. Keeping the ladder up and locked when no one is swimming will help to deter a young child from going into the water alone.



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