On a hot summer day, there’s no greater escape than your favorite swimming hole. But before you dive in, be aware that there are water safety hazards that could put you and your family at risk for accident, illness or injury.
The greatest risk any time you’re near the water is, of course, drowning. This is true for kids in particular. Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death among children ages 1 to 14.
Here are a few important water safety tips:
- Supervise children at all times when near a body of water.
- Keep kids under age 5 within arm’s reach.
- Don’t depend on swimming aids like floaties; opt instead for approved flotation devices, especially when in open water or on a boat.
- Know the signs of drowning (they aren’t always what you think).
- Learn CPR.
- Get your kids swimming lessons (and you, too, if needed).
Two of the signs of drowning include the lack of ability to call or wave for help and staying vertical or upright in the water — behaviors that might be easy to miss.
Water Safety at Oceans, Lakes, Rivers
Natural bodies of water require specific considerations.
You should always:
- Check for hazards or water depth before kids begin to jump and dive.
- Avoid fast-moving currents and water, strong tides and waves.
- Swim near trained lifeguards in designated areas.
- Stay away from swimming under or around rafts, docks and boats.