When the sun is shining and the weather is steamy, there's no better way to cool off than by taking a dip in the pool or enjoying the waves at the beach. However, it's important to remember that while swimming can be fun and refreshing, safety should always be a top priority.
Lifeguards are the unsung heroes who work tirelessly to ensure our safety in the water. They’re trained to keep an eye out for potential trouble and spot swimmers in distress. Red Cross Lifeguard safety training covers multiple safety techniques, including rescue skills, how to administer CPR and use an AED, first aid and Basic life support.
However, lifeguards are probably one of the few professionals who hope never to have to use their training to rescue someone.
Here are some essential swimming safety tips that lifeguards want you to know before you hit the beach or pool.
General Swimming Safety
Learn to Swim
One of the best ways to stay safe in the water is to learn how to swim properly. Swimming lessons are available for all ages and skill levels. Inquire about lessons at your community pool or local YMCA. Knowing how to float, tread water, and swim basic strokes can make a significant difference in your confidence and safety. Lifeguards encourage everyone, especially children, to enroll in swimming lessons.
Never Swim Alone
Swimming with a buddy is not only more enjoyable but also safer. If you encounter any difficulties, someone is nearby who can provide assistance or call for help. Additionally, swimming with a buddy helps prevent accidents, as you watch out for each other. Even experienced swimmers can run into unexpected situations, so it's always better to have someone by your side.
Follow Lifeguards' Instructions
Lifeguards are trained professionals who are there to ensure your safety. Pay attention to their instructions and follow any posted rules or regulations. If a lifeguard asks you to move to a different area or advises against swimming due to unsafe conditions, it's important to comply. Lifeguards have extensive knowledge of the water and can accurately assess potential risks. Cooperation with lifeguards is crucial for maintaining a safe swimming environment.
Supervise Young Swimmers
Just because there is a lifeguard on duty doesn’t let parents off the hook. Lifeguards can’t see and be everywhere at once, so it’s up to swimmers and their guardians to act responsibly in and around the water. Young swimmers should wear floaties or swim vests and always be within arm’s reach. Remember, you are your own first defense against drowning and other water dangers.
At the Public Pool or Water Park
Follow Pool Rules
Read and follow any rules that have been posted for swimmer safety. In general, swimmers should walk, not run, and avoid horseplay around the pool area. Consider swim vests or life jackets for young or weak swimmers. At thewater park, follow any restrictions on age, height, weight or health requirements. And always go down water slides feet first.
At the Beach
Swim in Designated Areas
Always swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards. These areas are carefully chosen and maintained to provide maximum safety. Lifeguards are trained to monitor these zones, making sure they are free from hazards such as strong currents, sudden drop-offs, submerged rocks, or dangerous marine life. Staying within the designated swimming areas significantly reduces the risk of accidents.
Consider Water Conditions
Before you enter the water, take a moment to assess the conditions. Pay attention to warning flags or signs indicating strong currents, high waves or dangerous marine life. If you are at the beach, check the local weather forecast for any potential storms or rough conditions. Being aware of the water conditions can help you make informed decisions about your swimming activities and prevent potential dangers.
Swimming is a wonderful way to beat the heat and enjoy the water, but safety should always be a priority to avoid accidents, injuries and drowning.
Lifeguards play a crucial role in keeping swimmers safe, but swimmers also should take personal responsibility for their actions in the water to avoid accidents, injuries and drowning. Let's show our appreciation for lifeguards by respecting their expertise and doing our part to stay safe in the water.
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