With the first day of Summer coming up soon, many of us will be finding ourselves participating in some kind of water activity. Whether you are spending the day at the pool or a taking your boat out for an afternoon excursion, safety should be a priority. Take a look at some boating and water safety tips.
Here are some great tips from the Red Cross on how to keep your family safe near and in the water:
- Only swim in areas designated for swimming with a lifeguard present.
- Use the buddy system, even at a public pool or life-guarded beach.
- Make sure the entire family can swim. Enrolling in Red Cross swimming lessons is a great way to spend some family time and keep everyone safe.
- NEVER leave a young child unattended near water. Teach your children the importance of asking permission before going near water. Establish rules! Decide who and when the family is allowed near the pool or other water sources. Never let children play near drains and other water hazards, and explain to the family why these rules are important.
- Children and inexperienced swimmers should always wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket.
- Be cautious around natural bodies of water. A fall into a lake or stream can be very dangerous.
- Avoid alcohol!
- If you own a pool, make sure you have approved safety barriers around your pool and hot tub. The Red Cross offers an online training course for pool safety. Take it! Put all pool toys away and out of sight these can be an attraction for young kids to venture out to the pool unsupervised.
- Supervise, supervise, and supervise children and inexperienced swimmers near any body of water.
- Lastly, know what to do in an emergency. Make sure there is appropriate safety equipment in the event of an emergency. Know when and how to call 911. If you own a pool and your child is missing, check the water first. It only takes a few seconds to drown.
If you will be out on a boat this summer here are some great tips from the U.S. Coast Guard on boating safely:
- Do a vessel check.
- Take a boating safety course. You can rent a boat at the MacDill Marina. It is a requirement to pass a boating safety course before you are allowed to rent a boat.
- Educate yourself on the dangers of carbon monoxide.
- Again, avoid alcohol. According to the USCG, a boater is more likely to become impaired than a driver of an automobile. You do not want to be charged with a BUI.
- Wear your life jacket at all times. In the event of an accident, stowed life jackets are almost useless. The Coast Guard would like to see everyone on every boat wear their jackets at all time.
- Prepare a Float Plan. This is not just for boaters but kayakers, jet skiers etc…
- Take a boater safety class. For a list of Coast Auxiliary classes here in the MacDill AFB, area go to CLASSES.
I hope these tips will encourage you to review what safety plans you may have in place in regards to swimming or boating. If you do not have a plan, now would be a great time to sit down with the family and go over water safety. Remember to wear your life jackets, and another great tip is to use sunscreen!
Have a fun and safe summer and please share with us any safety tips you may have. You can share here on the blog or share on our MacDill Happenings Facebook page. You can also send us a Tweet at @MacDill Happenin.
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