How to Practice Safe Swimming

The stats are stark: Each day, about ten people lose their lives in an unintentional drowning. Out of those ten, two are children age 14 and younger. Those numbers are from the Centers for Disease Control.

Think about that — 704 children die each year from an unintentional drowning. How sad. How preventable.

As the weather warms and summer appears on the horizon, people coast to coast will be jumping into bodies of water as varied as the bodies jumping into the water. But no matter how diverse the terrain or the swimmers, there are certain rules that cross all lines and can keep everyone safe. My goal is to help prevent some of these drownings, which rank as the 5th leading cause of unintentional death in the United States.

It’s especially important to protect your children. We live in Florida so we put our kids in swim lessons around the same time they learned to walk. Yes, it was that crucial. According to the CDC, “Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1-4 than any other cause except birth defects.” That’s enough of a reason to do all you can help to teach kids not only how to swim but how to protect themselves around water. I hope the tips below help.

* Have a pool and young kids, invest in a pool fence. We hear about the cases all the time. A child got outside, unbeknownst to parents or a babysitter, and fell into the backyard pool. Before anyone realized the child was missing, the child drowned in the pool. A fence fully around the pool would significantly curtail this possibility.

* If kids are swimming, make sure someone is watching them. This is common sense. This means no drinking, playing on a smart device or doing chores. It means paying attention at all times to the kids in the pool and doing a head count often.

* Learn to swim. If someone in your family lacks the ability to swim or is nervous around a pool or at the beach, it might be time to get them some swimming lessons. There’s no shame in not being able to swim and many adults take lessons later in life. It might be a life or death decision.

* Swim with someone. There are just too many variables to swim alone. Like most things in life, if you do this activity with someone else, you’re much more likely to be safe.

* Don’t swim where it’s treacherous  or where you are warned not to. Warnings around beaches or bodies of water are up for a reason — to protect you! Sure, it might look inviting but officials have determined it’s not safe and you should heed the warnings.

* Pay attention to posted warnings at beaches and where lifeguards are present. You need to know if dangerous waves or rip currents are present before you swim.

* Pay attention to the weather. If a storm is brewing, the waves might look enticing as they kick up and pound the surf. But the bottom line is, wicked weather — including thunderstorms — can make swimming unpredictable at best and deadly at worst. Don’t chance it.

* Know CPR. If you have a pool or plan to swim with others, make sure someone in your home or party knows CPR. Again, this necessary skill could mean the difference between life and death.

* If you’re boating, use life jackets. When you’re on a boat on the water, wear a life jacket. Sure, chances are you’re probably more than safe on the boat but the weather and the water can be unpredictable and once a problem arises, it might be too late to put on a life jacket. Just do it when you board the boat and it’ll be one less thing that you have to worry about.


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About Happiest Daddy

Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I'm one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.

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