With warmer weather finally here, many people are heading outdoors. If your outdoor plans include being around water, whether swimming, fishing, or boating, be sure to follow these top ten water safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You can find these and other information on how to be safe around water on the CDC website.
- DO learn to swim.If you like to have a good time doing water activities, being a strong swimmer is a must.
- DO take a friend along.Even though you may be a good swimmer, you never know when you may need help. Having friends around is safer and just more fun!
- DO know your limits.Watch out for the “too’s”—too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much hard activity.
- DO swim in supervised (watched) areas only,and follow all signs and warnings.
- DO wear a life jacket when boating, jet skiing, water skiing, rafting, or fishing.
- DO stay alert to currents.They can change quickly! If you get caught in a strong current, don’t fight it. Swim parallel to the shore until you have passed through it. Near piers, jetties (lines of big rocks), small dams, and docks, the current gets unpredictable and could knock you around. If you find it hard to move around, head to shore. Learn to recognize and watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents — water that is a weird color, really choppy, foamy, or filled with pieces of stuff.
- DO keep an eye on the weather.If you spot bad weather (dark clouds, lighting), pack up and take the fun inside.
- DON’T mess around in the water.Pushing or dunking your friends can get easily out of hand.
- DON’T dive into shallow water.If you don’t know how deep the water is, don’t dive.
- DON’T float where you can’t swim.Keep checking to see if the water is too deep, or if you are too far away from the shore or the poolside.
Photo © 2016 by Roman Boed under Creative Commons license.