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May 17, 2024
Mid State Insurance

Stay Safe While Swimming

As spring turns into summer, it is likely you and your family will be swimming sometime soon. girl wearing swimsuit and swims in swimming pool

If you currently own a pool now or plan to in the future, consider these tips to help you and your family stay safe while swimming this summer.

If you own a pool, the first major safeguard to put to keep your family safe is to build a barrier around the pool. Constructing a fence around your pool with a “self-closing and self-latching gate,” and consider adding additional locks or barriers [1]. This is an important precaution because it reduces the chance of a child drowning by 83% [1].

Put together a safety plan detailing your family’s guidelines for safety.

Some essential rules to stay safe while swimming are to swim a buddy, remain sober and alert around the water, and stay away from unnecessary hazards. It is always best to swim with a buddy because each swimmer will have another looking out for them in the event of an emergency [1]. This buddy or “designated watcher” if not in the water should be alert, sober, and watching the water. For this reason, the YMCA warns against mixing alcohol with water activities because it impairs judgement [2]. Staying alert is key to reacting quickly when emergencies do occur [1],[2]. Another step to take to stay safe in the pool is to stay away from hazards such as “drains and other openings that cause suction.” Drains and openings that cause suction pose a risk to any swimmer but especially to small children [1], [3].

Moreover, if you are watching or swimming with children, it is especially important to remain alert. According to the YMCA, kids should swim supervised. They should also understand this rule is to keep them safe [2]. Some dangers to avoid are games that require holding one’s breath, diving headfirst into the pool, and swimming in deep water. Games that require holding one’s beath can pose a risk of passing out underwater with the potential for further injury [2]. Likewise, jumping or diving improperly or in shallow water can cause injury. Swimming outside of designated areas can put children in danger of being in water that is too deep for their abilities [2].

Above all, to truly stay safe while swimming, know what to do in the event of a water emergency.

Although one hopes such an event will never happen to them, it is important to be prepared in case it does. As mentioned above, if someone is struggling to stay above water, have a plan in place for how to rescue that person. A rescue could involve throwing a life preserver, using a long object, or calling for help [2]. Knowing who to call for help is vital to responding quickly. Another way to respond well in an emergency is to obtain CPR certification. It is relatively easy to obtain a certification and save a life in the event of a water emergency [1].

With these tips, you can help keep your family safe in the pool this summer. Happy swimming!

 

For more water fun, check out our blog on how you can keep your boat secure.

 

Sources:

[1] “Home Pool & Hot Tub Safety,” https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/water-safety/home-pool-safety.html. (May 2, 2024).

[2] “Water Safety Tips,” https://gwrymca.org/blog/water-safety-tips. (May 2, 2024).

[3] “Safety Tips,” https://www.poolsafely.gov/parents/safety-tips/. (May 2, 2024).

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