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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
What better way to beat the heat on hot summer days than by jumping in a lake or pool? During the summer months, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and water at pools, gorges, lakes, and oceans. In Ithaca, there are countless parks that allow everyone to enjoy Cayuga Lake, as well as beautiful state parks and public pools that give everyone the chance to get some swimming in. Whether you prefer pools or natural bodies of water, it’s important to remember that while even shallow swimming areas can seem harmless, there are safety precautions and rules that should always be followed. Keep these safety tips in mind to enjoy a safe and fun-filled day by the water:
- Only swim in areas that are designated for swimming and are supervised by lifeguards. Even if it looks safe, there may be dangers that you can’t see!
- Enroll your children in swim lessons so that they feel comfortable in the water and know what to do if they ever fall in unexpectedly.
- Always have young children or weak swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest around water – even if no one is planning on swimming.
- Don’t rely on a life vest alone to keep children safe! Every child should be supervised by an adult, even while wearing a life vest.
- Avoid alcohol use around bodies of water – besides impairing your ability to swim, it also makes it more difficult for the body to stay warm.
- Never dive in water that isn’t clearly marked as safe for diving. If you’re swimming in a lake where you can’t see the bottom, don’t assume that it’s deep enough to dive.
- Be aware of water temperature – it only takes a few minutes in very cold water for the body to start losing its ability to use its muscles and stay afloat.
- Use the buddy system and never swim alone. No one is immune to drowning!
Stay safe this summer with these water safety tips, and consider taking a water safety and first aid class to be even more prepared for the unexpected. Happy swimming!
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