May seems to be a big month for safety. In addition to being National Motorcycle Safety Month and National Bicycle Safety Month, the time frame has also been designated as National Water Safety Month. Which shouldn’t be surprising given the increased emphasis on water-based activities that typically comes along with warm weather during May. To make sure you and your family are kept safe, consider heeding the safety tips provided by the American Red Cross in a new report.
Perhaps the most important step you can take to prevent a drowning tragedy is to sign your children up for swimming lessons. Seek out courses in your area that offer basic skills training. This instruction doesn’t have to just pertain to children, though. Even if you’re confident in your swimming ability, there is always more you could learn. Submitting to CPR and life-saving training can ensure that you know the steps necessary to save a life if a lifeguard isn’t immediately available.
Of course, you should always stick to those places where a lifeguard is present if possible. If you insist on jumping into a body of water where such a person is not present, you must make sure that you or your children are accompanied by other parties at all times. The buddy system can ensure that someone always has their eye on you and vice versa.
You especially want to keep a close watch on children, even if you think their skills are sufficient. Eliminate distraction from your life. A cellphone doesn’t belong by the pool in the same manner that it doesn’t belong behind the wheel. If for some reason you lose sight of a child, keep your eyes on the water to see if you can find him or her. Checking the water first could mean the difference between life and death.
If a kid that doesn’t have adequate skills enters the water, make sure that he or she is wearing a life jacket and stays within arm’s length. Children with inadequate skills should wear life jackets even when they’re just around the water.
Should you plan only to remain near the water to soak up the sun, it’s still imperative that you take the proper safety precautions. Natural bodies of water, such as lakes or the ocean, can hold numerous tripping hazards that can send you into the current. And you could be injured by an underwater object simply from dipping your toes in. Always be cognizant of potential dangers.
Finally, although it might be tempting, do not consume alcohol when engaging in water-based activities. Copious alcohol consumption can limit your ability to swim properly and compromise your safety severely.