While swimming is an undoubtedly great form of exercise and produces hours of family fun, there need to be precautions in place to stay safe prior to hopping in the pool. Without the proper safety precautions, a casual and relaxed afternoon at the pool can become dangerous within seconds. Here are some tips on how to stay safe around the water.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR for short, is an emergency lifesaving procedure performed when the heart stops beating. Immediate CPR can double or triple the chances of survival after cardiac arrest. In a recent study, it was discovered that even children can perform successful CPR. There are classes available via our lifeguard certification which include CPR, or the RedCross offers CPR training courses.
Take a Swimming Lesson to Stay Safe
At the YMCA, we offer swim lessons that provide children, teens, and adults with the means to enjoy themselves and learn about the water. Using a skill-based approach designed to meet the needs of the members, the YMCA offers water discovery, exploration, movement, and stamina lessons, along with stroke development and mechanics. In addition, teens and adults at the YMCA can take private or group lessons. It’s never too late to learn how to swim!
Don’t Swim Alone
Always have a “swim buddy,” whether it’s an older sibling, a friend who is proficient in swimming, or a trusted adult. Having a swim buddy ensures that you are always accounted for, and if needed, your buddy or the lifeguard can help you.
Swim in Monitored Areas
Lifeguards prevent many water-related dangers, and it is their job to detect when danger might occur. While you may consider the lifeguard to be your “swimming buddy,” they are preoccupied with everyone in the area. Be sure to only swim in lifeguard monitored areas with your actual “swim buddy.”
Have the Proper Gear
Inexperienced swimmers and young children should always adorn a Coast Guard-certified jacket around water. While other devices such as floaties, water wings, tubes, and pool noodles may float and hold body weight above water, only certified professional jackets should be trusted to ensure the safety of swimmers.
Practice Treading Water
Treading water is an exercise that is extremely important for swimmers to learn. Treading water can be learned at any age, and is the ability to keep your head above the water while swimming in an upright position. If there was an emergency, this skill should be utilized until help arrives, because it doesn’t exert too much energy and keeps you afloat. Treading water can be learned at any age, and is
If there was an accident and someone was to fall unintentionally into the water, along with the ability to tread water, floating can be lifesaving. Floating teaches swimmers to roll on their back and stay at the water’s surface, which puts them in an ideal position to breathe. In addition, floating helps swimmers conserve energy which reduces the chances of drowning from physical fatigue. While it may seem simple, floating can save your life!
When in Doubt, Get Out
If you or your child ever feel sudden tiredness or fatigue while swimming, just exit the water. If you feel any doubt about your ability to swim, don’t risk it, and simply get out of the pool for a short period of time to regain your energy and confidence in the water. And remember, you don’t have to cancel your swimming plans! Just take it easy, and follow the above rules such as swimming with a buddy, treading water, and floating.
Once you learn the basics of water safety, you can confidently enjoy an afternoon of swimming and family fun!