One of the best ways to cool off during the hot, humid days is swimming. It’s a fun activity that everyone in the family can get into. It does not require much equipment and it is a great form of light exercise.
Swimming is fun but as with everything else, you should always exercise precaution. Whether you are planning on swimming in a lake, the nearby public pool, or the ocean, you should follow safety rules in swimming.
In the Pool
For people who live in the city or in places where there is no nearby lake or ocean, the pool is a haven for hot days. Most places have public pools that you can easily access. To prevent injury while swimming in the pool, here are some safety tips:
1. Read the Rules
Most, if not all, pools have rules that they post near the pool site itself. These rules are there to keep you safe. Read, understand and follow these rules to ensure safety.
2. Look before you leap
As children, you probably ‘cannon-balled’ into the pool by jumping carelessly and splashing everyone in the process. This practice is great if you are alone in the pool. But if you are in a public pool with many other people enjoying the water, it is not only rude to splash them but it can also be dangerous. You might end up jumping on someone and hurting them and yourself in the process. Before you jump into the pool, look at where you are jumping. If possible, reserve the jumping to other days when you are alone in the pool.
3. Be careful when going in and out of the pool
The sides of the pool get slippery because of the water. As such, you should always be careful going in and out of the pool. Hold on to the handrails if there are any.
4. Never swim by yourself
Make sure that you have someone with you whenever you are swimming. Use a buddy system even if there is a lifeguard present. You’ll never know when you could get a cramp from swimming or become unable to ask for help.
5. Do not run around the poolside
Wet tiles are slippery and it is not unusual for people to slip even when they are just walking around the pool. Running round could cause you to slip, fall, and injure yourself. Be careful when walking around the pool instead of running to avoid slipping.
In the Lake
Lakes are often more serene and peaceful than oceans or rivers. But do not think that they cannot pose any danger to a swimmer. To keep safe while swimming in the lake, here are some tips to guide you:
6. Tread carefully
Most lakes are not as clear as pools. Tread carefully before going in. You might be stepping on under bushes and under water plants that could get entangled into your feet and prevent you from swimming.
7. Wear shoes made for water sports
The bottom of the lake could be full of sharp rocks that could cut your feet as you walk around the shallow end of the lake. Wear protective footwear when walking along the shallow edges of the lake.
8. Play around the water with caution
Playing in the water is one of the things that make swimming fun. If you plan on playing and swimming in the lake, make sure to be extra careful. While you and your friends are horsing around, you can fall or trip and hit your head on very sharp rocks. Some lakes have swinging ropes that make playing with friends more fun. Be careful when swinging from these ropes lest you scrape your hands or fall on shallow waters.
In the Ocean or the Beach
Beaches are fun places to swim and play in. The vast space makes it ideal to do other sports like jogging, playing volleyball and Frisbee, and other fun activities. Swimming in the ocean is also as liberating as it gets. You get to swim in the vast unknown. You get to do different kinds of swimming from snorkeling to diving. To have a fun and safe swimming expedition in the beach or in the ocean, be aware of the following:
9. Heed weather advice
Don’t be a daredevil and swim while there is a storm going on. Before heading to the beach or out to sea, check the weather report to see if it is safe to go swimming.
10. Don’t swim beyond your abilities
Some people will dare you to go beyond the buoys and further than you are used to. Don’t give in to these taunts. Stick to what you know. If you are not good at swimming in open waters, don’t do it. If you don’t know how to dive, get lessons first before trying it out.
11. Be aware of the hazards
There are some beaches that sharks and other underwater animals frequent. Avoid these areas as much as possible. Most beaches have signs that tell people when it is dangerous to swim and when it is safe. Look for these signs before swimming especially if you are swimming in places you have never swam before.
12. Be aware of the undertow
Some beaches and oceans have stronger undercurrent than others. Before swimming in a new beach, do your research and find out if they have these kinds of warnings. People who have gone to these beaches are always glad to share their knowledge to others to keep them safe.
13. Never swim alone
This rule is most important when you are swimming out in the ocean. The deep waters can sometimes be challenging even for experienced swimmers. There are also so many external factors that you cannot control while you are swimming in the sea. Make sure to have someone watching your back at all times.
14. Keep a close eye on children
Children, especially the little ones, can get swept up by the waves. They sometimes don’t have enough strength to fight off the tides. Be sure to keep a close watch over your children. Do not leave them to swim by themselves even if they are good swimmers.
These are only a few of the safety tips that you should keep in mind when you are swimming. Whether you are swimming in the pool, the lake or the sea, always exercise caution. Be safe and have fun.