As we continue our summer health and safety series, today we’re looking at the potential hazards of water. Everyone loves to splash in the water to cool off on a hot day, but whether it’s a dip in one of Boise’s municipal pools, a day of recreation at Lucky Peak, or a leisurely float in one of the Treasure Valley’s numerous waterways, it’s important to remain aware of the dangers associated with this type of recreation. Here are a few things to keep in mind when playing in the water this summer.
Learn to swim. It sounds simple, but you might be surprised at the number of folks who never learn to swim. If you’re going to be on the water, you owe it to yourself to learn this valuable life skill.
Learn CPR. This is another important life skill that, unfortunately, can be critical during the summer months. With any luck at all, you’ll never have to use it. But it’s a good thing to know, especially when time is precious.
Supervise children at all times. There are no exceptions to this rule. It only takes a few minutes for tragedy to unfold. If you must go into the house to answer the phone, make sure the kids get out of the pool, or arrange for someone else to take over supervising duties in your absence.
Keep kids away from canals. The Treasure Valley has about 1,170 miles of irrigation canals, and they’re all tempting for kids, and adults, who want to take a dip when the weather heats up. But they can be dangerous. Banks are steep and difficult to climb, and the water can move faster than it appears. Teach kids to stay away and supervise them when you’re near a canal.
Always use the buddy system. Never swim or dive alone. If something happens, it could be hours before anyone discovers you, and by then it might be too late. Take someone with you as an extra measure of safety.
Wear life vests when boating or floating. Even if you know how to swim, it can be difficult to estimate the depth of a river or lake. Wearing a life vest is an extra precaution.
Take frequent breaks. Swimming and splashing can burn a lot of energy, and wear you out in a hurry. Be sure you take rest breaks often so as not to be too tired to swim or keep yourself afloat.
Use common sense. This may be the most important tip of all. Check out conditions ahead of time, don’t consume alcohol when you’re out on the water, and if it just doesn’t “feel right,” don’t do it.
Watch the video for more tips about water safety.
Talk it up:
How conscious are you of water safety?