By Reach for the Wall Staff
May 15 is International Water Safety Day. In approximately two weeks time, all the pools in the DMV will open (hopefully at full capacity). This past year, opportunities for recreational and instructional swimming were very limited and many will need to be re-acclimated (or introduced) to recreation activities in and around water as well as water safety. Parents, you can start the conversation with your kids today, review the 7 Safety Tips for keeping children aware and safe around water (Tips provided by Pool Safely). After reviewing the safety tips with your kids, have them take the pledge (click the image to download the card):
Did you know that drowning is a leading cause of accidental death for children?
We’re shining a spotlight on this day (May 15) so you know the basics for keeping yourself, your family and friends safe in and around the water every day. It all begins with learning to swim! Swim lessons teach safety and swimming skills you need to enjoy the water safely. But it’s not just about knowing how to swim. You need to be smart, too.
Here are some ways to do that:
• Swim as a pair near a lifeguard’s chair. Buddy up. Never swim alone. Only swim in places that are protected by lifeguards—or, if at a home pool, only swim when an adult is actively supervising the water.
• Look before you leap. Check the water and weather conditions to be sure that it’s a safe place and time to swim. And always enter feet first unless the area is intended for diving.
• Follow the rules. They exist to keep you safe. Always listen to the lifeguards.
• Life jackets save lives, so don’t just pack it, wear your jacket. Everyone should wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when on a boat, and anyone who needs a bit more support should wear one when going into the water.
• Think, so you don’t sink. Know what to do if you get in trouble in the water. The more skills you have, the better you’ll be able to deal with scary situations.
• And if someone around you gets in trouble, reach or throw, don’t go! Use reaching or throwing equipment to help a struggling person get to safety. Only trained lifeguards should enter the water to help someone in trouble, and even then, the lifeguard is going in with rescue equipment.
Knowing how to swim, making smart choices around the water and knowing what to do if something goes wrong can make a difference between life and death. Get started by taking the Pool Safely Pledge at poolsafely.gov/pledge. On this International Water Safety Day and throughout the rest of the year, DO YOUR PART, BE WATER SMART!
Every hour, every day, more than 40 people lose their lives to drowning;
372,000 people drown each year, with those under 5 years old at greatest risk;
Globally, over half of all drowning deaths are under 25 years old.
Content provided courtesy of International Water Safety Foundation Inc