Summer is full of opportunities to relax and have fun. It’s also one time of the year when there tends to be a bit more time for play, with kids off on summer break and families planning vacations. Much of the fun times to be had involve water activities, especially here in the Ozarks. What better way to escape the heat than a day on the lake or a dip in the pool?
It’s good to keep in mind, however, that water activities come with risk. Every year people are injured or die due to drowning or boat-related accidents. With that in mind we wanted to offer everyone a few safety tips, ideas, and reminders to keep you and those you love safe this summer.
- Never let anyone swim alone. It doesn’t matter how strong a swimmer you might be, it’s always safer to swim in twos. Make this a family rule that is strictly followed
- Never drink while boating, swimming, skiing, or operating other watercraft. Alcohol is a known contributing factor in many drownings.
- When boating, always have everyone wear a life jacket. It doesn’t matter how good a swimmer you are, this simple precaution can be life-saving.
- Have a strong “no-horseplay” rule around water, including around the pool, on the shore, in the water, and on the boat. Kids in particular can get excited and forget the danger around them.
- Ban headfirst diving. Diving in feet-first is always safer, even in pools. If you do dive in other bodies of water, make sure you know the depth, that the water isn’t murky, and that there are no rocks anywhere near the dive path or water below.
- Always watch children around water, no matter how good a swimmer they are. Even if they are wearing flotation devices, kids should always be closely supervised.
- Don’t swim during a storm. If you hear thunder or see lightning, get out of the water immediately.
- Consider taking a CPR class, especially if you spend a lot of time on adventures with your family. This is a life-saving skill that you never know if you need.
- Set time limits on water-time. Children don’t always realize how tired they are or don’t want to miss out on any fun. This can be dangerous, however, so set time limits and make sure kids get out, rest, and recharge.
- Have your children take a swimming and water safety course. This is a fun way to learn how to stay safe in water from the experts.
Remember, no matter how long you’ve been swimming or boating, accidents happen. It only takes a moment for a good time to turn bad. So always be diligent and make sure that your summer is full of safe family fun.