Swimming safely is very important because although fish can breathe under water, people can’t. People must have air to breathe, or they will die.
When people get too much water in their lungs, the lungs can’t carry enough oxygen to the vital organs like the:
If the vital organs don’t get enough oxygen, they don’t function properly and death or severe disability (which can be permanent), results.
General Swimming Tips
- It’s best to never swim alone. Instead, swim with one or more friends or family members.
- Don’t ever swim in the dark.
- Don’t eat or chew while swimming because you could choke.
- If you get a cramp while swimming, get out of the water for a while so that your muscles can rest.
- Stop swimming if outdoors, or boating, as soon as you see or hear a storm approaching because lightning is electricity, and electricity and water are a dangerous combination. Therefore, it’s also important to check the weather forecast before you go swimming outdoors.
Pool Swimming Tips
Because swimming pools are often very attractive, before taking a dip in a pool, it’s important to know and remember:
- The sides and bottom are usually made of concrete. Therefore, a slip or fall can be painful as well as dangerous.
- Only dive off the diving board unless a knowledgeable adult says the water is deep enough.
- Always obey the pool rules.
- If you’re just learning to swim, stay in the shallow end.
- There should always be an adult around when a child, or children, is/are in a pool.
Beach Swimming Tips
- Before you go in, check with the lifeguard on how strong the waves are.
- Always swim where a lifeguard can see you, and in areas approved for swimming.
- If you are caught in a strong undertow or ocean current, swim parallel (alongside) the shore.
- Don’t swim close to piers. They’re big wooden structures and if the water suddenly moves, you could hit a rock, or piling.
- Don’t swim out too far.
- Keep drinks in plastic bottles at the beach to prevent cuts on bare feet.
- Face the waves instead of having your back to them, so that you’ll see what’s coming.
- There should always be an adult around on the beach when a child is swimming.
Lake and Pond Swimming Tips
Although lakes and ponds are beautiful, extra care must be taken in swimming in them because the bottom can’t always be seen. Therefore, it may not be possible to tell how deep the water is. In addition, some lakes and ponds may have jagged rocks, broken glass, trash and other objects that could cause injury.
- Wear protective gear on the feet to decrease the chance of injury.
- Watch out for weeds and grass in the water, because you could get trapped in them. If you do, don’t try to quickly get free because you could get more tangled. Slowly shake and pull your arms and legs free, or call for help.
Now that you’ve armed ourselves with the above tips, enjoy the water, enjoy your swims, and be safe!
Remember the Health Power motto: Knowledge + Action = Power!®