Wednesday, May 13, 2015

National Water Safety Month: SAFE tips for families

It is almost time to get out the swimsuits and head to the pools, lakes, and oceans in your area! Water can be a ton of fun for kids and adults alike, but we need to remember to play it safe while having a splashing good time.

In recognition of the popularity of swimming and other water-related recreational activities in the United States, and the resulting need for ongoing public education on safer water practices, the month of May 2015 is National Water Safety Month!

I take to the blog annually to remind as many people as I can that water safety includes more than just drowning. When out in the water, everyone needs to remember these SAFE tips:

S - Sunscreen. Water reflects light and can give anyone a nasty burn. Also remember that sunscreen needs to be reapplied often when in the water. Use at least SPF 30 and a waterproof variety. 

A - Always abide by the signs/flags. Pay attention to Coast Guard flags and do not enter ocean water if warnings are present. Even the best of swimmers can get pulled by an undertow. Also, NO DIVING if the water is shallow. Diving is one of the leading causes of spinal cord injury in the summer and unfortunately, I see kids diving into 5-foot deep pools way too often. One wrong move and it could mean major paralysis. Please do not let them dive unless it is an approved diving depth of around 12 feet. 

F - Friends or family. Do not let children swim alone. Even adults should not swim alone in case something unexpected happens. Keep a friend or family member close. 

E - Eyes and ears. The pool and beach are great places to catch up on some relaxing waterside reading, but parents cannot forget to keep their eyes and ears open and on the kids very, very often. A drowning child is often very quiet, and many parents think their child will yell or scream if drowning. Do not stop watching when they are in the water. 

Enjoy the summer, get wet, have a great time, and stay safe! 

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