Swimming is the fourth most popular sports activity in the United States and remains an excellent low-impact exercise that decreases the risk of chronic illness, diabetes, and heart disease. But for youth, it also has the distinction of being the 2nd leading cause of death overall according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Even though recreational facilities and water parks provide good safety equipment, children are not automatically safe. Watch for and help them pay attention to how they feel and how comfortable they are being in the water. Take the Pool Safety Pledge together and follow these steps for a safe and happier summer water experience.
Stay Safe by the Water with These Tips:
- Watch children at all times and without distractions: Drowning can happen so quickly – and quietly. Supervisors should avoid alcoholic beverages and be free of phones, books, and other distractions. Take turns with other responsible adults watching children so you too can harvest the physical benefits of this popular water activity.
- Teach young swimmers how to swim: Even though this is a great method to preventing accidents, children still need to be supervised while playing in and around water.
- Have immediate access to life jackets: After putting on the jacket, if it moves more than 1 inch in any direction, the wearer needs a smaller size. Air-filled or foam water toys such as “noodles” or “water wings” are not designed to keep swimmer’s safe.
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration: When swimming, it is harder to notice how much water you have lost through sweat. Take note of anyone feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or nauseated as these can be signs of dehydration.
- Monitor yourself and others for chills and muscle cramps: It is possible to get too cold while swimming. Water can quickly drop your body temperature resulting in hypothermia. Chills and muscle cramps are warning signs to get out of the water and warm up.
Don’t forget to slop on sunscreen with SPF 30 or more while swimming outdoors and take shade periodically to avoid getting too hot.
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