Water Safety in Addition to Skills

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Though important, swimming skills alone aren’t always enough to save a life. Many drowning incidents involve other factors that swimming skills alone cannot prepare an individual for. Learning water safety-such as how to prepare for an emergency, and what to do if one should occur-is key to preventing an emergency in or on the water. It’s swimming skills combined with safety knowledge and skills that saves lives.

Prevention

Active supervision
The absence of adult supervision is a factor in most child drownings.
Whether it’s a pool, the bathtub, a water park, or the beach, always watch children actively around water-even if they can swim.
Consider requiring all non-swimmers to wear a lifejacket to keep them at the surface to assist you while supervising.

Backyard pools
Backyard pools are especially dangerous for small children. Ensure adequate barriers are in place such as four-sided fencing along with a self-closing, self-latching gate.  Empty portable toddler pools after each use.

Bathing children
When bathing infants or toddlers, an adult should remain with the child at all times- children should never be relied upon to supervise other children in the bath.  When a child is in the bathtub, never leave to answer the phone or for any other momentary distraction.

Diving
Diving headfirst into water should be avoided unless the individual is properly trained and is sure that the water is deep enough.
Avoid diving in home pools and always enter the water feet-first.

Open water
Never underestimate the power of current. Swimmers or waders can be swept away in an instant, particularly if non-swimmers or weak swimmers get caught by current in rivers or out of their depth in abrupt drop-offs.
Be cautious about swimming in currents, and know what to do if caught in a current.

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