Top Water Safety Guidelines for Safer Swimming This Season
Now that it is swim season, many families will be enjoying the spring and summer weather in or around water, whether it’s a pool, beach, water park, or lake. As a facility that focuses on water safety and drowning prevention, we want all of our TSA families to be safe this season! So, we would like to share six important safety guidelines to keep in mind no matter what type of water fun you will be enjoying this season, starting with:
1. Never Leave a Swimmer Alone
Young swimmers should never be left unsupervised in the water, even if they are proven to be experienced swimmers. It only takes a few seconds of looking away for a drowning accident to happen. These occurrences most likely happen when a victim is left alone or unsupervised. Commit to watching children at all times when they are in the water to ensure their overall safety, even if there are lifeguards present! When in a lake, pond, or beach, you cannot always determine the water’s depth so it’s especially important to have adult supervision during these times.
2. Keep Children Away From Drains & Covers
Young minds are inquisitive and ready to explore every inch of the water. However it’s important for parents and guardians to enforce that children stay away from drains and covers. If not properly equipped, these can pose as very dangerous hazards for swimmers, especially for young children. Entrapments occur when someone or something such as hair, jewelry, clothing, becomes stuck to these drains, restricting swimmers from breaking away. If you are a pool owner, inspect drains and covers to make sure they function properly. When at a public pool area, remind your swimmers to stay away from these devices to ensure safe swimming.
3. Follow the Facility Rules
Whether your family will be at a pool, a beach, or water park this season, it’s important to review the rules for each establishment with your children. Public pools and water parks will each have their own set of guidelines regarding conduct and swimming in the pool. This includes toys and attire. Only swim or dive in specified areas that are supervised by a lifeguard. Remind your children that these rules are here for a reason – to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable time!
4. Stay Away During Lightning Storms
During the warmer seasons, it’s pretty common to experience thunderstorms in the Greater Houston area. Outdoor swimming pools during these storms can be extremely dangerous. As soon as you see lightning or hear thunder, it’s important to get everyone out of the pool and away from structures such as showers, dressing rooms, filter/pump rooms. If a suitable structure is not available to evacuate to, a hard topped car is a good alternative. Use a standard flash-to-bang count to determine distance from the storm and if it’s getting closer. Count in one-second increments; every 5-second count equals one mile. If the flash-to-bang count is less than a 30-second count, evacuate the pool area immediately. Remember, lack of rain, a blue sky, or sunshine does not guarantee that lightning and thunder will not occur. Do not return to a pool until at least 30 minutes after the last lightning is sighted or thunder heard. Check with local weather radio stations or reports to make certain that weather is clear.
5. Practice Sun Safety
Always wear sunscreen when swimming outdoors. Just one day in the sun without the proper protection can take its toll. Wear loose fitting clothing to keep cool with a hat and sunglasses for extra protection from ultraviolet rays. An SPF of 15 or higher is recommended for sunscreen. Remember to apply frequently, especially after each swimming session. Proper sun safety also includes drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration, especially on sunny days. Pay close attention to young children, who are likely to become dehydrated more quickly than adults.
6. Enroll Children in Swim Lessons
Finally, swimming is an important personal safety skill that prevents drowning for a lifetime. The best thing that anyone can do to ensure a safe time in the water is by learning how to swim. This includes both adults and children. The Survival Swim is a swim program focused on survival swimming. Babies and young children are taught to float and breathe regardless of the water’s depth for an indefinite period of time until help arrives. Swim lessons offer an extra layer of protection in case of an accidental plunge in the water. To learn more about this and other programs offered at Texas Swim Academy, please visit our programs page.
To review more resources and tips on water safety and drowning prevention, please visit the Pool Safely website.