It’s important for us to all respect our own boundaries when entering a body of water. Whether it’s a pool, the ocean or a neighborhood pond, we all need to carry awareness with us to avoid close calls.
Here are 4 easy-to-follow safety precautions all swimmers should follow when taking the plunge:
- Know your depth. Look at the stamped depth markings on the pool deck so you know the depth of the water. Avoid any area that will literally get you in over your head. Even if you’re 6-foot tall, entering a 5-foot area can still be dangerous should you lose your footing.
- Stay in lifeguard range. This goes for both pool and open water swimming. Lifeguards are there for a reason. They look for rip currents, debris in the water or other factors that can put swimmers at risk. If you’re out of the lifeguards’ sights, they may not be able to warn you of dangers until it’s too late.
- Avoid diving. It’s easy to get caught up in the party and want to show off your 1 ½ twist with a flip. But, unless you’re an experienced diver in a designated diving well, refrain from showboating at the risk of severe neck injury. Even seasoned divers have gotten into trouble when entering a pool head first, leading to concussions or even spinal damage.
- Take a swim lesson. You’re never too old to give yourself the gift of lessons. Why not contact your local YMCA or swim club and ask about adult swimming sessions? You don’t have to be after the perfect stroke. Just acquire the water skills that will give you the confidence to know how to get to safety.