The holiday weekend brings friends, family and fun. This summer as you and your family resume swimming and other water sports, remember to be safe. Set water safety rules for your family and make sure you pay attention to weather conditions and forecast. When jumping into the water, jump in feet first, unless the area is clearly marked for diving and has no obstructions. Never mix alcohol with swimming, diving or boating as alcohol reduces the body’s ability to stay warm and affects your reaction time, swimming and diving skills.
Never leave a child unattended around water and always keep a phone nearby for emergencies. Remember that you may not always hear a child in trouble in the water as a child drowning is often not able to splash to alert anyone of trouble. Child drowning is a silent death so designate at least one person to monitor children in the water. Keep toys away from the pool when it is not in use as toys attract children to the water. Always remove pool covers completely prior to use. Don’t be afraid to use flotation devices with your children, however they are not a substitute for adult supervision.
If you will be boating, ensure that there are life jackets for yourself and every person in your party. Make sure someone who will stay on land knows when you leave, your expected route and when you will be back. If you will be skiing, ensure that you keep far enough away from the motor and any moving parts of the boat. Always carry a first aid kit, a flashlight and a whistle in the boat. Be sure that rafts and kayaks are in good condition and avoid areas where the water is very low or has large amounts of debris. Do not overload a raft or go rafting after a heavy rain. Tubes should be checked for stability prior to entering the water.
Water sports and activities offer a lot of fun for the entire family, if proper safety precautions are followed. Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!