Summertime is here and swimming is one of the best ways to stay cool. Swimming can be enjoyed by people of all ages; however, it is important to follow safety precautions to stay safe while in the water. Every day, about ten people lose their lives from drowning, and of these, an average of two are children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Swimming is one of the most popular recreational activities in the United States, so it’s important to know how to have fun but be safe while swimming.
Here are a few tips from the University Medical Center New Orleans Injury Prevention team to help you have some fun in the sun while swimming this summer:
Always keep an eye on children near water
Children move very quickly, therefore should never be left unattended near water. It is very easy to get distracted when enjoying summertime fun, however adults should always maintain constant attention when children are around water. Even if your child knows how to swim it is important to always supervise your child in the water.
Don’t forget the right life jackets
Young children and inexperienced swimmers should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets when around water. Always check to make sure the child is wearing the correct size life jacket according to the jacket weight limits. Life jackets should never take the place of adult supervision and should not be relied on alone to prevent drowning.
Teach water safety
Be sure to teach children at a young age to ask for permission to go near water, which will communicate risks without instilling fear.
Enroll in age-appropriate swimming lessons.
Learning how to swim is one of the best ways to prevent anyone from drowning. Skills to get swimmers to safety are instructed in professional swimming lessons as well as swimming techniques. It is never too late to learn how to swim. Swimming lessons are available to all age groups, including adults.
Always swim with a friend
Swimming with a buddy is not only fun, it is safe. If a swimmer is in danger, a friend can help, if safe to do so, or call 911 for help. If you are trained, start CPR, but if you are not trained the 911 operator can instruct you on what to do by the phone. Even if someone seems normal when revived please still seek medical care.
Swim in designated swim area and make sure there is a lifeguard on duty.
With COVID-19 restrictions, some regular summertime swimming areas may be closed leading swimmers to look for other places to swim and cool off. Designated areas are deemed safe for swimmers. Non designated areas may have strong currents or other dangers in the water that may not be seen. You should always swim with a trained lifeguard on duty.
Learn more information about our Injury Prevention Program here.