Summer is well underway. Swimming in either one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes or a pool is a great way to have fun, cool off, or even just relax. By now you’ve likely seen swimming safety tips. Or, sadly, you’ve seen news reports about people drowning. So, your healthcare partners at Welia Health want to share the following swimming safety tips:
- Never swim alone.
- Supervise children when they are in or near the water. Always. If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
- Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
- Swim in designated areas that are supervised by lifeguards.
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.
- Enter the water feet first.
- Stay away from pool drains.
- Do not play breath-holding games.
- Avoid alcohol when swimming. Drink plenty of water, even if you’re not feeling thirsty.
- If someone is struggling in the water, do not jump in the water to save them, instead throw a life jacket or use something to reach them.
- Take breaks. Young swimmers need breaks, as do the adults supervising them.
- Know what drowning looks like. Drowning doesn’t look like drowning.
Anyone can drown. Experienced swimmers. Young children. Teenagers.
In the article, I Investigate Drownings — Here Are 10 Things Everyone Should Know About Water Safety, author Natalie Livingston highlights additional safety recommendations, particularly relating to children. She shares the critical lessons she has learned during her 26 years as a lifeguard.
Experiencing Minnesota’s lakes or swimming in a pool is a wonderful summer pastime. Risks of drowning can be lowered when safety recommendations are followed and everyone in your household learns to swim. And when you’re out in a boat, particularly a kayak, canoe or paddleboard, wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. It’s not enough to just have them on board.
Stay safe this summer — and have fun!