Dive In: Summer Water Safety
There's no better way to cool off in the summer than with a dip in the water. Whether you're splashing in a pool or setting sail on a lake, here are some important water safety tips to remember:
- Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
- Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
- 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.
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices around water.
- When swimming at the lake or the pool, make sure you know the depth of water when diving. Too shallow water can result in spinal cord injury.
Dr. Carl Pafford, family medicine physician at Community Physician Network, encourages families to protect their skin while out in the sun to avoid skin damage and sun poisoning, which is caused by long-term exposure to sunlight.
"Always use sunscreen and remember to reapply it as the day goes on," said Pafford. "Even 'sport screens' will wash off - use a sunscreen with SPF 30 that has broad spectrum coverage. And parents, pay particular attention to your children when they are applying sunscreen to ensure they are getting the proper application."
He also reminds people to limit alcohol consumption.
"Alcohol and boating don’t mix – just like driving a car – there should always be a designated driver," said Pafford.
For more water safety tips, visit the American Red Cross website.