As temperatures heat up and summer quickly approaches, many people in the Tampa Bay area will be jumping into pools or taking a dip in the ocean. We’ve previously discussed how homeowners can develop good practices to keep their personal swimming pools safe but we’re going to expand on that topic and talk about staying safe in any body of water. May is National Water Safety Month. It should be everyone’s responsibility to practice water safety no matter their age or their location to the water.
Educate Yourself and Your Family
The American Red Cross recommends that all family members take the age appropriate swim lessons. Your family should have set rules and every family member should abide by them at all times. Swimmers should be aware of the location of safety devices and how to use them. Swimmers should also be aware of the general mechanics of the pool (drains, filters, water intake valves, electricity, etc.) and avoid swimming too close to anything that may entrap or otherwise injury them. If swimming in a natural body of water, swimmers need to be aware of water currents and the effect temperatures may have on a person.
Swimming should never be a solitary activity, no matter the swimmer’s experience. Using the buddy system will provide a measure of safety should the swimmer experience an emergency. Children should never be expected to monitor another child’s swimming. To prevent unauthorized access to water, barriers, safety covers, alarms, and locks should be used at all times when pools and hot tubs are not in use. Children should not be allowed to explore areas with water without adult supervision.
Vehicles In the Water
Boaters and people operating other watercraft need to be just as mindful of rules and regulations as they would be driving a car. Operators should know how to safely pilot their vehicle and learn the best conditions under which to operate. It is important to have a way to contact the authorities should you need help and also be able to direct them to your location. Operators should also refrain from drinking alcohol before and while operating a watercraft. All occupants should wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket at all times.
Prepare For Emergencies
Whether you plan on enjoying your summer in your private swimming pool or head to one of the many beaches in the area, familiarize yourself with property emergency procedures. Know your exact location (address and easy to identify landmarks). The American Red Cross also recommends every person learns CPR/AED and proper first aid techniques.
We feel following these simple and easy to implement water safety practices will allow for you and your family to enjoy the water all summer long.