For many people, a summer swim is one of their regular – if not favourite – activities. However, no matter if you’re an expert or a beginner swimmer here are five important tips to help you and your loved ones have a great safe? summer filled with sweet memories.
Tip #1: Keep an eye on swimmers at all times!
The Lifesaving Society reports that 85% of drownings involving a child under 5 years old occur while swimming unattended. A young child should never be more than an arm’s length away from an adult when in the water. Supervision from the deck or patio is not good enough: when you are out of the water, it may take you several seconds to become aware of a problem, and it will take more time to rescue a child in trouble.
Avoid using a phone, laptop, or other device that could distract you. Also, do not leave to answer the door, prepare food or any other reason that would cause you to take your eyes off swimmers.
The Lifesaving Society recommends to always have one supervising adult when children are swimming in the pool, even if the children are 10 or 12 years old.
Tip #2: Take swimming lessons
No matter your level of confidence in the water, invest in swimming lessons. Not only will you learn additional swimming tips from experts, some classes also offer water safety tips. In many regions, lifeguard courses are available for both teens and adults. Be sure to ask about the class content before you or your child registers.
Tip #3: Follow (and teach) water safety rules
The pool is a place to have fun and relax, but it’s important that children know the safety rules around water, understand and follow them at all times:
- No swimming without at least one adult being present
- No running or pushing
- No food or beverages in the pool
- No diving (unless there is a designated area and it is allowed)
Tip #4: Wear a flotation vest
Children under the age of five or inexperienced swimmers should wear a lifejacket or personal flotation device when swimming, even if supervised. In 59% of drowning cases among 15-34 year olds, the victim was not wearing a life jacket.
Some swimsuits come with built-in devices, but these are not recommended, as they may not prevent drowning. Be sure to purchase a device certified by Transport Canada, Canadian Coast Guard or Fisheries and Oceans Canada. You can find more information about personal flotation devices (PFDs) for adults and children on Transport Canada’s website.
Tip #5: Restrict access to water when unattended
If no one is available to supervise swimmers, it’s best not to take any chances. Make sure you always follow safety guidelines and maintain control over access to the pool, for example. A latching door (with a padlock or locking device), as well as a fence on all four sides of your yard can help restrict access to your pool.
In fact, many municipalities have pool regulations in place. Ask your municipality for more information.
For more tips and information on water safety, visit www.lifesavingsociety.com.
Disclaimer: The content on this site is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal or insurance advice. Always follow local laws and public health and safety measures and restrictions.