Summer is just around the corner, and for many Albertans this means time spent on, or in, the water. No matter your age, or how well you can swim, there are certain things to keep in mind to keep you and your family safe this summer. So, let’s discuss some tips in further detail.
Learn to swim
One thing that is vital to water safety, is knowing how to swim. Children should be enrolled in swimming lessons, conducted by qualified instructors. Having strong swimming skills is something that not only reduces the risk of drowning, but it also helps build confidence and knowledge in and around water. The younger you learn to be comfortable in the water, the less afraid and better equipped you will be in avoiding dangerous situations.
Being able to swim doesn’t completely remove the risks associated with drowning. Therefore, whether at the pool, beach, lake, or any other body of water, children should never be left alone. Children, especially, can be easily distracted, and a watchful eye should always be kept on them.
The Canadian Red Cross states that, “a small child can disappear in seconds and can drown in only a few centimetres of water – enough to cover the mouth and nose. Typically, these drownings occur in backyard pools, toddler pools, the bathtub, or at the beach.” Furthermore, drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional death among children ages one to four. So, keep your littles safe by ensuring they are closely supervised by a responsible adult.
Wear life jackets
For those who aren’t strong swimmers, life jackets or personal floatation devices can provide extra security. However, even for strong swimmers, if you are participating in activities such as boating, kayaking, water skiing or any other water fun that involves a large body of water and a boat, you need to always wear a life jacket. By law, you are required to have a life jacket on board for each person on a watercraft. In many instances, drowning related to recreational boating occurs when people do not wear one.
It is important to be cautious in open water. Lakes and rivers can present unique challenges, so you should always be aware of your surroundings. Understand the risks associated with currents, waves, or other hazards. It is also key to follow safety guidelines and warnings associated with where you are located.
During the summer, it is easy to become dehydrated. Ensure you are drinking plenty of water and be sure to protect yourself from UV rays by regularly applying sunscreen, wearing a hat, and considering UV-protective clothing. Always reapply sunscreen after getting out of the water.
Never operate a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol as it can impact your judgment as well as reaction time. It can also have dangerous consequences, or expensive fines!
We want you to enjoy your summer, and the water activities in which you choose to participate. By prioritizing safety, and staying vigilant on and in the water, you will help keep everyone safe this season.