What better way to escape the summer heat than to take to the water? Backyard pools and lakes are refreshing, fun and great exercise. But, making a splash can come with some unique dangers. Many of activities in water will be done without trained lifeguards on duty. That means when you get ready to go to the beach, water safety is just as important as your towel, bathing suit, sun block and sunglasses.
Richard Tovar, MD, Emergency Medicine, Infinity Healthcare says “one of the best things adults can do is to maintain a current CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certification so they know how to react if someone goes into cardiac arrest. Doctor Tovar also said that “CPR guidelines have changed in recent years and it’s important for adults to stay current. The more individuals that are CPR trained the safer we all are at the beach.” The website of the American Red Cross offers listings of classes in your area.
CPR classes train you to react when the worst has happened. Perhaps even more important is preventing accidents in the first place. When possible swim in lifeguard monitored areas. Young children require direct supervision from an adult who is not distracted. This applies even when the child is wearing a life vest. It’s important to remember that water wings and other floatation toys do not count as safety equipment. Doctor Tovar advises parents that, “a coast guard approved life vest is a must for young children and anyone who is not a confident swimmer.” Life vests are also a key water safety device for boating, watersports and fishing. Those children and adults who are not strong swimmers may significantly improve their water safety by taking swim classes. Doctor Tovar adds, “a life vest does not make a swimmer 100% safe. Being able to swim is an important skill for anyone who wants to enjoy the water safely”.
Get ready to grab your towel and life vest, schedule your CPR refresher course and enjoy the water safely this summer.