There is no better way to stay cool, have a fun time with family and be active in hot months than water recreation. Water parks, pools, lakes and beaches are great summer destinations. Stay safe and enjoy the water by following these safety tips:
• Learn how to swim. You and your children must learn to swim. Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in children ages 1 to 4.
• Supervise children. Stay alert when children are in or around water. Consider safety features such as fences, locks, pool covers and pool alarms.
• Use the buddy system. Bring a friend when you head into the water.
• Check for hazards. While the water at the beach may look inviting, be aware of your surroundings. And always keep an eye out for the weather and potential hazards, like strong currents.
• Exercise caution. Follow the rules of the beach or pool. Stay within your depth and comfort level in the water, and swim in designated areas only.
• Wear a life jacket. Flotation devices, such as life jackets, can save lives. Do not rely on air-filled or foam toys such as water wings, noodles or inner tubes, as these are not safety devices.
• Know the risks of alcohol. Drinking alcohol or taking drugs can interfere with your judgment and coordination, making swimming very risky.
• Learn CPR. Knowing how to perform CPR can be a lifesaving skill.
Talk to your Family Medicine or Internal Medicine provider before engaging in any water activity while taking medication for anxiety or other mental health issues. Certain medications may interfere with your balance, coordination and judgment, making swimming difficult.
Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; U.S. Department of Agriculture