Ready to dive into the world of water sports? Whether you're boating, snorkeling, water skiing, or swimming, any kind of activity on the water requires safety precautions and an understanding of potential dangers. This summer, make sure everyone in your family knows how to stay safe while having fun out on the water.
Water Safety: Swimming Basics
Drowning is the leading cause of death in young children ages 1 to 4 years and the second leading cause of death for people ages 5 to 24 years. Whether you're at the pool, lake, or beach, make sure you practice proper water safety. Here are some swimming precautions for everyone to keep in mind:
Don’t get in the water unless you know how to swim.
Don’t swim alone.
Learn how to perform CPR and other water rescue techniques.
Don’t drink alcohol if you plan on swimming.
Only swim in areas where a lifeguard is present.
Know your strength; swimming in the ocean versus a pool is a very different environment and can be dangerous if you’re not able to handle strong currents.
If you find yourself in a current, stay calm; let the current carry you until you're able to swim free and call for help.
When Boating, Kayaking, or Canoeing
Many Americans engage in recreational boating each year. But before the fun falls overboard, review these tips:
Wear a life jacket! A majority of boating deaths are due to drowning, and most victims neglect to wear a life vest.
Avoid boating in acclimate weather; turn around if you notice storm clouds, strong winds, or a drop in temperature.
Avoid drinking alcohol.
Take a boating safety course.
Bring along extra safety items such as a first aid kit, water, flashlights, maps, and a toolbox.
Obey warning signs, and don’t operate in restricted areas.
Kayaking or canoeing can be dangerous if you attempt to paddle on a river or lake that is too challenging for your skill level. If your canoe tips over, don’t panic. Stay behind it and angle it toward the shore until you reach land safely. And don’t forget to wear a life vest and follow general water safety guidelines!