Summer is calling! Long, hot, sunny days to waste away by your Harrisonburg apartment pool or floating on the lake are right around the corner. Get out your sunscreen and your favorite swim suit and get ready for summer fun! As you get ready to enjoy the water this year, remember to brush up on your water safety skills to keep summer safe and full of fun.
The most effective safety precaution you and your children can take is to learn to swim. You can check with Parks and Recreation to find out where you can enroll in swimming lessons, and encourage your kids to learn how to stay safe when swimming. In Harrisonburg, James Madison University is offering classes – click here to learn more. Some great water safety rules for the whole family include:
• Never leave children alone or unobserved near any body of water.
• Keep your phone nearby in case you need to call 911.
• Learn how to use any lifesaving equipment and know where it is stored.
• If your apartment pool is tended by a lifeguard, do not swim unless the guard is present.
• Do not dive into any body of water unless it is clearly marked for diving.
• Young children and inexperienced swimmers should not be allowed in water past chest height.
• Consider putting small children in life-jackets when around the pool.
• Keep kids from running on pool patios and wrestling in the water.
• Never swim if you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
• Never swim during a storm or in bad weather. Lightning can be deadly if you are in a pool.
If you prefer to swim in lakes rather than the apartment pool, keep in mind a few basics:
• Always have a swimming buddy, especially in remote areas.
• Keep an eye on your energy level and make sure you have the strength to swim back without fatiguing.
• Do not swim under docks and floating rafts.
• Never jump off anything without looking first – landing on another swimmer can result in injuries.
• Never dive in headfirst if the water depth is unknown – jump in feet first to avoid potential head and spinal injuries.
• Never swim in water that looks dirty or polluted, even if signs say that swimming is allowed. If the beach or dock are smelly or covered in trash, it’s probably not a place you should swim.
• Lakes can have strong, dangerous undercurrents. Never swim beyond designated safety areas.
Grab your towel and head to the apartment pool! Knowing how to stay safe will ensure that you can enjoy a long, lazy summer by the water.