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The Hood Magazine

Summer Swimming Safety

04/25/2016 11:25AM ● By Hood Magazine
By Jean Pearson, Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation



Americans swim hundreds of millions of times in pools, oceans, lakes, rivers and hot tubs/spas each year and most people have a safe and healthy time enjoying the water. However, it is important to be aware of ways to prevent recreational water illnesses (RWIs), sunburn and drowning that can occur. CDC's Healthy Swimming Program and website, provides information for the public, so everyone can maximize the health benefits of swimming while minimizing the risk of illness and injury.

What is the best way to keep my child safe around swimming pools?

An adult should actively watch children at all times while they are in a pool. For infants and toddlers, an adult should be in the water and within arm’s reach, providing “touch supervision.” For older children, an adult should be paying constant attention and free from distractions, like talking on the phone, socializing, listening to music through ear buds or sleeping, and the supervising adult must know how to swim. Even at pools with lifeguards, adult supervision is always a great idea. Some tips to keep in mind to make water safety your priority this summer are:

  • Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Always obey pool rules.
  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. No matter if you are at a public pool or on a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system.
  • Swim at a depth that is safe for you. If you're just learning to swim, stay in the shallow end.
  • Walk slowly in the pool area. Don't run – you may slip and fall.
  • Never pretend to be drowning. The lifeguard may take you seriously.
  • Don't push or jump on others. You could accidentally hurt someone or yourself.

During the heat of summer, it is always a good idea to make sure your children are well hydrated. Sending water with your children will help ensure hydration. Sometimes, water related illnesses can occur due to poor hydration which can result in an accident in the pool. If this occurs, it is best to alert a lifeguard or pool manager. It is also recommended that swimmers take frequent breaks. Applying additional sunscreen, using the restroom and hydrating are all precautions that swimmers can take to make their stay at the swimming pool this summer more enjoyable.