We are deep into Memorial Day weekend, the time that pools typically open for the season and many families start to plan their vacations to beaches, lakes and other places that present opportunities to cool off in the water.
Swimming, a popular warm weather activity in the United States, has health benefits for all ages. As with any form of physical activity, we encourage you to take precautions to minimize your chance of injury or illness while maximizing health benefits from this fun activity.
Safety Tips For Your Water Activities:
- Always obey pool rules when swimming.
- Before diving into water, ensure that the depth is appropriate to avoid injury.
- Choose to swim in locations that are supervised by lifeguards.
- Make sure children are supervised while they are in or near the water.
- Avoid distractions such as cell phones while supervising children in or near the water.
- Teach children to always ask permission before going in or near the water.
- Wear life jackets, but do not let young kids or inexperienced swimmers rely on life jackets alone.
- Ensure everyone in your family knows how to swim.
- If you have a pool, make sure to protect your family and visitors by installing barriers and a pool alarm.
- If a child is missing, the water should be the first place checked. Every second counts in preventing accidental death or disability. According to the Red Cross, “Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.”
- Keep equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit on hand in case of emergency.
- If you are at the beach, always obey flag warnings such as those at Florida’s beaches. Be sure to learn how to recognize and survive in rip currents.
- Do not chew gum or eat while swimming to avoid a choking hazard.
- Protect your skin from sunlight during hours between 10 am and 4 pm. Wear sun blocking hats, clothing and use umbrellas and other shading devices. Use sunscreen with sun protection of at least 15 SPF.
- Keep yourself and your family well hydrated. Drink plenty of water, eat fresh high-water-content fruits and avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages.
Swimming Pool Hygiene Tips from CDC.Gov:
- Don’t swim or let children swim when sick with diarrhea.
- Don’t swallow the water.
- Take kids on bathroom breaks every hour.
- Check diapers, and change them in a bathroom or diaper-changing area—not poolside—to keep germs away from the pool.
- Shower before you get in the water. Rinsing off in the shower for just 1 minute helps get rid of any germs that might be on your body.
We want you to stay safe and healthy this summer season and year-round while enjoying plenty of physical activity and relaxing fun in the water.