Livingston's Township pools are opening soon, and people will be spending time at the beach, at a lake, or in the pool in their own backyard. Swimming is a fun way to cool off on a hot day, but safety is critical. With summer on the way, the Livingston Health Department has shared some tips for safe swimming, to help you prepare, minimize risks, and protect yourself and your children from drowning and other dangers.
- Before diving into the water, make sure you know the depth of the water and be sure that the water is deep enough. Warn children about diving into the pool as well. Encourage them to dive only off of a diving board or to check with you or another trusted adult before diving into the water.
- Always supervise children when they are in or near water. Never leave children unattended.
- Have a cell phone with you in the event of an emergency. Consider taking a course in CPR and/or first aid.
- Some areas near a lake, pond, or beach may be rocky or have broken bottles on the ground. Wear water shoes to protect your feet.
- Riptides are common in ocean water, which can be strong and pull you away from the shore line. If you are caught in a riptide, swim parallel to the shore until the riptide no longer pulls you away from the shore. Then swim back toward the shore. If you are caught in a riptide and are having trouble, wave your arms to get the attention of a lifeguard who can help.
- Always swim only in designated areas at beaches, lakes, ponds, etc. Swim near where there are lifeguards who can see you if you need help.
- Don’t go swimming alone; make sure someone else is with you.
- If you are at a water park, be sure to read all the signs about the rides you choose to go on. Be sure that the ride is appropriate for any children who are with you.
- Teach children how to swim, if they don’t already know how. Children that don’t know how to swim or swim well should wear a life jacket. Swim toys that float are not reliable in keeping a child safe. Additionally, do not rely on a life jacket to keep a child safe in the water; always make sure that children are well supervised by an adult.
- It is best to have a barrier around your pool or to keep it covered when it is not in use. When you're not using the pool, make sure pool gates are closed and the gate lock is at a height that children cannot reach.
- Make sure any small inflatable/kiddie pools are fully drained and put away after use. Children can drown in a small amount of water, even an inch deep.
- If a storm comes where you see lightening or hear thunder, get out of the water right away and go indoors.
Wherever you and your family are swimming this summer, stay safe and have fun!
For more educational information, contact Health Educator Jessica Kelly, MPH, CHES at 973-535-7961 ext. 227.