Written by Jimmy SisalioUpdated on June 23, 2021
This article is written and reviewed by Nikos Vasilellis, certified swim safety instructor.
- Australian swimming qualifications through either AUSTSWIM or Swim Australia
- Valid and clear Working with Children Check
- Valid CPR
- Clear Police Check
- Our Child Safe Policy signed
Without a doubt, there are so many benefits attached to swimming. Besides the fact that it is a recreational activity, swimming is also a healthy activity with many physical and mental health benefits. Some of these benefits are:
- It alleviates stress;
- It is a fun way to spend time with your loved ones;
- It improves body balance and coordination;
- It builds muscle strength and endurance;
- It helps you maintain a healthy weight. In addition, you can say it is a relaxing form of exercise.
All these and many more are benefits of swimming. However, as relaxing and healthy as swimming is, it isn’t without risks, and injuries and accidents are bound to happen. For this very reason, it becomes essential to practice some water safety tips and know who to contact when an accident happens.
Importance of Safety Precautions while Swimming
The simple truth is, sometimes safety precautions can be overlooked while swimming. As a result, many water accidents occur that can sometimes be fatal. Therefore, we should follow safety measures while swimming to reduce potential dangers attached to swimming. Below are some of the reasons why it is important to practice safety precautions while swimming:
- To Avoid Drowning: Drowning is one major accident that occurs while swimming. The World Health Organization reported that drowning claims the lives of 236,000 people yearly all over the world. No one is above drowning, although children are more at risk than adults. Practising safety precautions will prevent this and reduce the risk of drowning.
- To Avoid Other Injuries: Besides drowning, other water accidents may occur near or around the swimming pool. Some of these injuries are slipping and falling, diving injuries, pool toy entrapment, and so on. You can prevent these injuries if some precautions are put in place.
- To Avoid Penalties: There are laws set up to guarantee pool safety. As a pool owner or user, you have to obey these laws to avoid penalties.
Water Safety Tips: How to Avoid Accidents
Water safety has to do with your behaviour in and around water. Therefore, your behaviour determines how safe your swimming experience will be and help avoid water accidents. Hence, it becomes necessary to equip yourself and your loved ones with some vital water safety tips. Doing this will ensure that you have a good time while staying safe at the same time. Here are some tips that will prove very useful for you while you are in and around water:
1. Don’t Swim Alone
It is highly recommended that you don’t swim alone. Whenever you want to swim, ensure you have someone with you. If you can’t swim, now would be an excellent time to take swimming lessons. Even after the lessons, try not to swim alone. That way, you can have someone looking out for you in case of any accidents. As a parent, you should encourage your child to go swimming with friends and guardians, never alone.
2. Supervise Children When They’re Swimming
As much as swimming is a time of fun and relaxation, parents need to be alert when they have kids at the pool. It is recommended that parents stay within arm’s reach of their kids at all times. Whether you are at the swimming pool or the beach, don’t let your kids stray far away from you. If you have older kids, you still have to keep an eye on them because they tend to be more daring and may want to try some dangerous moves in the water; no child is too small or too old to be supervised.
3. Enter the Water with Your Feet
Diving injuries are common water accidents, which happen when you try to dive headfirst into the water. If anyone wants to dive, ensure that the pool has a designated area for diving. If the pool doesn’t have one, then diving shouldn’t be permitted. Also, whoever wants to dive should be adequately trained to do so. If not, the right way to enter the pool is with your feet first.
4. Wear a Life Vest
Kids and inexperienced swimmers should wear a life vest in the water. This life vest should be a Coast Guard-certified life vest. Try as much as possible not to substitute a life vest for other products that are acclaimed to help you stay afloat. For example, pool noodles and floaties are great, but they can’t be of much help to your kids in times of an emergency. Kids can use them when there is supervision or when they are with their parents. However, you should also note that wearing a life vest doesn’t negate the importance of other water safety rules.
5. Avoid Pool Drains
Pool drains can be dangerous, especially when they are faulty or broken. Bathing suits, children’s hair, and even body parts can get stuck in these drains, leading to either drowning or some other serious injury. Kids especially should be taught to stay away from these areas in the pool. Also, if you notice a faulty drain, report it as soon as possible.
What to Do If There Are Accidents
Even when all safety precautions have been put in place, swimming accidents might still occur. Sometimes, these accidents can be a result of someone’s act of negligence. It, therefore, becomes necessary for you to prepare for the worst. When accidents occur in the swimming pool, here are some steps you can take:
- Administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). There are usually lifeguards trained to administer CPR at the pool, but you should also get trained to do this if you have to be the one to administer it.
- Have a well-stocked first-aid kit that you can use to lessen the effect of the accident before the arrival of professional help.
- Call an ambulance immediately.
No injury is too small, and you might need to contact your lawyer when a swimming pool accident occurs, especially if the accident happened due to negligence or defective equipment. However, the fear of accidents should not stop you from enjoying a dip in the pool with your family and loved ones.