December 2015 | Health Hints | Water Safety

Make a Splash

Some of the most fond vacation memories are built around water. Whether it’s learning to swim at the resort’s pool, splashing in the ocean waves for the first time or boating on a river or lake, water activities can be relaxing, invigorating and great learning experiences for everyone. Getting familiar with few safety tips can be key to fully enjoy being in, around or on the water.

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Know the Rules

Whether you’re at a hotel pool, on a public beach or in a state park, get familiar with the rules and laws that apply whether you’re swimming, boating or fishing. These will keep your family safe and could also save a lot of hassle.

Read Signs & Warnings

Beaches often have colored flags posted at lifeguard stands or elsewhere that indicate current conditions. Boating areas might have buoys with certain color patterns, lights or numbers that mean different things. Pay attention to posted signs and what different images mean.

Get Floating

Be sure children and adults have appropriate personal flotation devices based on their swimming experience and the activity they’re doing. Even the most experienced swimmers should wear a life jacket when doing certain water sports, and especially when required by law.

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In the Elements

Even on a warm day, cool water can drastically lower the body temperature. Be prepared with a wet suit or rash guard if you’re going to be in cool water for a long period of time, or dry clothing that can be changed into upon leaving the water. These layers can also help with sun protection.

Foot Protection

Consider water shoes for activities in rivers, shallow lakes or beaches to keep sensitive feet from getting cut by rocks, sticks, shells and other objects that may be unseen below the water’s surface. Be sure the kids have shoes for the beach and pool-side to protect tiny feet from hot sand and concrete when they’re not in the water.

Don’t Go Solo

Even if you’re completely comfortable around the water, bring a buddy along. At the very least, let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back and keep a cell phone, whistle or emergency flare on you or nearby, depending on the activity you’re doing. Of course, young children should always be supervised at all times while in or near the water.

 

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