There is plenty of advice out there when it comes to water safety. Sometimes, the sheer volume of information can be a bit overwhelming. For basics, here are four of our favorite water safety tips.
Four of Our Favorite Water Safety Tips
Be Aware of the Signs of Drowning
It is crucial that every single person, both in the water and out, learns to recognize the signs of drowning.
Believe it or not, drowning in real life is often not as dramatic as it is portrayed in the movies. In fact, it can be downright sneaky and quiet. The victim often does not thrash and scream as though they are being attacked by a shark. More often than not, they are too busy struggling to stay afloat that they never make a sound.
As a result, a person can drown silently. Within a few moments, you or a loved one can seem to quietly slip beneath the waves. A situation like this can often leave lasting damage or even be fatal.
To help prevent this, keep a close eye on everyone in the water. If someone appears to be in turmoil, make sure they are okay. This is one of the reasons why swimming with a buddy can be so helpful. It helps to have someone else watching your back.
To make matters worse, this happens a lot more often than people realize. Our monthly drowning stats articles show just how many of these types of incidents occur around the nation. For more information about recognizing the signs of drowning, read our linked article.
Reach or Throw, Don’t Go
Keeping with this point, the next step after noticing a drowning situation is how to handle it. Instinctively, a would-be rescuer’s first instinct might be to dive into the water to help. Unfortunately, this could be a fatal mistake for the rescuer and the victim.
You see, even though they aren’t making much noise, the drowning person is likely panicking. After all, they are in a fight for their life. Purely out of survival instinct, the victim might accidentally drag a rescuer under with them.
Instead, it is recommended that you reach for the person from a safe position, preferably outside of the water. You may need to use something to help you reach them, like a pool skimmer or a branch. If available, throw them a life preserver. This will help keep the rescuer out of harm’s way and provides ample help to the victim.
Children Should Never Be Alone Near the Water Without Supervision
Now that you know how quiet drowning can be, let’s talk about another one of our favorite water safety tips. Active supervision saves lives. When it comes to kids and water, there is lots of fun to be had, but also a lot of danger. According to the CDC, drowning is actually the number one killer of children aged four and younger. In fact, babies and children can drown in as little as one inch of water. Make sure your full attention is on your child and other things do not distract you.
Learn more in our dedicated blog about active supervision.
Install a Pool Fence
No matter the season, setting up a pool fence is an excellent idea for any pool or hot tub area. Safety begins by installing a sturdy, tall pool fence. This fence should be a minimum of four feet tall. This helps to prevent kids or pets from climbing over the fence and into danger. Next, the pool fence should offer strong “tension-based support” that can stand up against the elements – or an excited child or pet.
Finally, the fence should include a self-closing gate as an added level of security. This ensures that the gate won’t be left open by accident. It adds an extra layer of security.
Obviously, installing a pool fence tops the list of our favorite water safety tips. To learn more, read our detailed article about the value of installing a pool fence.