Summer is here! We’re looking forward to long, sunny days spent relaxing by your Charleston apartment pool or floating on a nearby lake. Get your sunscreen ready and find your favorite swim suit because it’s time for summer fun! As you prepare to enjoy the water this season, brush up on your water safety skills so you can have a safe summer that’s full of fun.
The best way to protect yourself and your children is to learn to swim. You can check your local Parks and Recreation resources to find out where swimming lessons are offered. Encourage your kids to learn how to stay safe when swimming. In the Charleston and Huntington area, consider the Kahawha Valley YMCA and Hycat Swimming. Here are a few important things to keep in mind around the pool:
• Children should never be alone or unobserved near water.
• Always have a phone nearby should you need to call 911.
• Keep lifesaving equipment nearby and know how to use it.
• Never swim at a pool with a lifeguard unless the guard is present.
• Never dive head first into water unless it is clearly marked for diving.
• Inexperienced swimmers and children should stay out of water past chest height.
• Put life jackets on small children when around pools or deep water.
• Do not allow kids to run on pool patios or wrestle in the water.
• Never swim if you feel fatigued or if you are under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
• Never swim in bad weather or storms. Lightning in water can be deadly.
If you enjoy swimming in lakes rather than your apartment pool, remember these tips:
• Never swim alone, especially in remote areas.
• Be aware of your energy level and be certain that you have the strength to swim back to your starting point.
• Avoid swimming under docks, floating rafts, and boats.
• Don’t jump into water without looking first to prevent landing on another swimmer and incurring multiple injuries.
• Never dive into water if the depth is unknown – jump in with your feet first to avoid spinal injuries.
• Do not swim in water that looks dirty or polluted, even if a sign tells you that swimming is allowed. A smelly, trash covered beach or dock is sign that this is not a place you should swim.
• Lakes and rivers can have strong, dangerous undercurrents. Stay within the safety area and never swim past warning signs.
Grab your towel and head to the apartment pool! Knowing how to stay safe will ensure that you can enjoy a long, lazy summer by the water.