Summer means fun by or in the water for most of us, which makes for a fantastic holiday weekend when everything goes smoothly. When it doesn’t go smoothly, however, it can send your last trip of the summer into a serious nosedive. Make your summer end up on a high note that’s memorable for all the right reasons—here are five water-focused safety tips to help ensure that happens.
1. Don’t drink before going out on the water.
Going for a swim after ingesting alcohol is always an awful idea, even if it seems fun and doable at the time. Studies show that 50% of all drowning victims over the age of 13 were found to have a high blood-alcohol content. Go for a responsible swim while sober or stay safe on land if you’re going to partake in some drinks. At the end of the day, it’s not worth the risk.
2. Stay out of riptides.
One of the biggest dangers for swimmers in natural bodies of water is the presence of riptides. Riptides are the result of water being channeled away from the shore and are normally pretty strong, even for an adult, experienced swimmer if he or she is caught off-guard. For inexperienced swimmers, these currents can be incredibly dangerous. It’s easy to get caught off-guard by a riptide—if you get caught in a riptide, don’t struggle to swim against it. Instead, stay calm and either float or tread water in a direction that parallels the shore.
3. Never swim alone.
As a general rule, swimming alone invites trouble to strike and for you to have no one in the vicinity to help you or contact the help you need. Use the buddy system—especially if you have children in your group. Encourage kids to keep an eye on one another, but ensure there’s always an experienced adult swimmer keeping an eye on them as well. If there’s a lifeguard, make sure he or she is always in view and, if you’re worried about weather conditions, see if they have an idea of what to expect from the day before getting in.
4. Wear a lifejacket.
Not just any lifejacket either—a Coast Guard-approved lifejacket is the ideal, particularly if you aren’t an experienced swimmer. If you’re out on the water (in a boat for example), don’t have it just on board or near you, have it on. If you were to end up in the water with strong winds or currents, your discarded lifejacket can quickly get swept away before you can attempt to put it on.
5. Keep kids in sight and within reach.
Busy beaches and lakes make it easy for kids to disappear in the crowd, which invites all kinds of potential problems. Keep children within sight and, at best, keep them within arm’s reach, too, if there’s water around. Disaster can strike in an instant and children often don’t have the physical ability or forethought to get ahead of it.
Have a fun, safe holiday weekend! If you’ve suffered an injury due to negligence of a person, product, or premise, contact Boughter Sinak, LLC, today for a free evaluation to start pursuing the compensation you deserve.
Source: Consumer Affairs