Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
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Water Safety
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By Mazzenga Daniels
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By Mazzenga Daniels
June 26, 2013 10:24 p.m.

Summer. Pools, barbeques, parties and fun in the sun. Summer is about being carefree and loving life! However, its no reason to slack on safety. Water safety is actually a very big issue. There are too many injuries due to not being careful in/around the water. So how can these accidents be avoided? According to the American Red Cross,

  • First things first, learn how to swim if you don't. When you go swimming, always go with a buddy. NEVER swim alone. If you need to learn, contact your local Red Cross chapters, YMCA's and community centers or pools are great places to learn and generally offer swim lessons year round.

  • “Be knowledgeable of the water environment you are in and its potential hazards, such as deep and shallow areas, currents, depth changes, obstructions and where the entry and exit points are located. The more informed you are, the more aware you will be of hazards and safe practices.”

  • Read all posted signs and rules and swim only where lifeguards are present. Follow all rules to be sure you don't get injured or injure anyone.

  • Inexperienced swimmers and children should wear a U.S Coast Guard approved life jacket when around water. In addition, create rules for the family to include all levels of swimmers. Inexperienced swimmers shouldn't go in past their chest.

  • Make sure you get plenty of sleep, aren't in the sun too long, and are close enough to safety to swim to your heart's content. Also make sure the water isn't too cold to swim in.

  • Check the forecast before you go out. Be aware of any storms in the area and their severity. Don't go if you see there are very severe storms in the weather for the day. If a rouge storm pop up unexpectedly, stop swimming at the first sign.

  • Always enter the water FEET first. If the water is too shallow and you jump in head first, you could seriously injure yourself. The only exception to this is if the area is CLEARLY marked for diving and has no obstructions.

  • Alcohol and swimming are a deadly combination. Be sure to stay sober when enjoying the water.

  • Know how to prevent, respond to and recognize emergencies. Drowning doesn't look like the waving, screaming person on T.V. Its more like not seeing a child/inexperienced swimmer for a while. This means keep a diligent watch.

    These are some general water safety rules, for more detailed and specific tips, visit http://www2.redcross.org/services/hss/tips/healthtips/safetywater.html, the American Red Cross's website.

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