On average, there are about 4,000 fatal unintentional drownings each year in the US.
Many people enjoy spending time in the water, but even the strongest swimmers can drown in certain circumstances. Water safety is incredibly important, and having a good understanding of it can keep you, and others, safe.
1. Never Swim Alone
This is something many people ignore, but it’s incredibly important. You should only swim when there’s a lifeguard nearby, or at the very least, with friends. If there are any drowning hazards and you’re on your own, the risk increases significantly.
When a lifeguard is on duty, they’ll keep an eye on the water at all times to see if anyone is in danger. They’re trained to act fast if someone’s struggling, so they’ll be able to help you. When on your own, you won’t have anyone to jump in after you if you’re having any trouble, so it’s never worth the risk.
2. Always Supervise Children Near the Water
Children typically aren’t as strong swimmers as adults. If left unattended in the water, they’re a lot more likely to drown, so you never want to leave them unsupervised.
The general rule of thumb is that a parent should always be within arms reach of a young child. This applies to swimming in lakes, the ocean, pools, or even bathtubs. With older children, a parent doesn’t need to stay as close, but they should still always keep them in their sight.
Some children learn to swim early, and can generally handle themselves. Parents should still keep an eye on them, however, as kids are generally prone to doing things like dives and flip that carry a bit more risk.
When you take your kids swimming, stay off your phone and remain attentive. If you’re with other parents, you can take turns watching the kids. Ensuring you’re paying attention at all times could lead to you preventing a drowning.
3. Always Wear a Life Vest
One of the best ways to keep children and inexperienced swimmers safe is to ensure they’re wearing a life vest whenever they’re in the water. These will help them stay afloat at all times, massively reducing the risk of drowning.
Note that there are plenty of drowning prevention products, but some aren’t as effective as others. Things like water wings, pool noodles, and floaties are great for teaching kids how to swim, but you shouldn’t rely on them as safety devices. Make sure you use a Coast Guard-certified life jacket that you know is reliable and safe.
You can learn more about life vests and other PPE by getting your water safety certification online.
The Importance of Water Safety
Proper water safety is vital whenever visiting a pool or the beach. Not being vigilant can lead to a drowning accident, so you should always stay alert and make sure you and your family are being safe in the water.