Summer is here, and there is no better activity than swimming, playing in the backyard pool, the lake or on the beach. Before you enjoy the water you may want to consider this statistic:
According to the Florida Department of Health, Florida ” has the highest unintentional drowning rate in the nation for the 1–4 year old age group in 2010 with a drowning rate of 7.29 per 100,000 population. Florida also had the highest drowning number and rate in the nation for the 1–14 population in 2010 with a drowning rate of 2.67 per 100,000 population.”
Believe it or not most of these drownings occur in backyard pools.
This summer we want you to have fun. Here are a few tips to practice water safety with your family:
1. Always swim with a lifeguard present.
Lifeguards are professionals who are trained to supervise the pool or beach and recognize immediately if someone needs help. Tell your kids to always listen and follow the instruction of the lifeguards on duty.
2. Create a safe environment.
Make sure that your backyard pool has a gated fence that is closed at all times. Children are curious by nature so they will explore their surroundings especially when the adults are not looking, so keep all toys, balls, and other colorful items out of the pool.
3. Know your limits.
We all like to think that we are good swimmers, but just because we are feeling comfortable as long as we can touch the bottom of the pool, does not
make you a good swimmer. You have to be able to float without assistance, tread water for at least 1 minute, climb out of the pool without a ladder, and hold your breath under water, just to name a few skills.
4. Always swim with a buddy.
No matter how well you swim never go alone. You need a friend (an adult) swimming with you especially when nobody else is around. You never know
when you could need help.
5. Never leave children unattended.
Always supervise children when near any type water. Always have an adult supervise children at play near water.
6. Have an emergency plan.
Always have a phone handy in case of an emergency so you can call 911. Also, knowing how to administer CPR can truly save someone’s life.
7. Pay attention to the weather
It can change without any warning signs. Especially in the summer, thunderstorms get created fast due to the heat rising. You can have blue sky
and lightning. Be careful. Identify a safe shelter where you can wait for the weather to clear.
Swimming and playing in the water it’s not just great fun but it’s a wonderful form of exercise. Enjoy the water but respect the elements you are in especially in natural bodies of water where currents and sudden temperature changes can occur without warning.
Have a fun and talk to your family about water safety this summer!
Noemi Lung Zaharia is a two-time Olympic medalist and founder of AQIndex, Inc., a revolutionary athletic testing company which also develops unique sports camps. AQI camps are developed and conducted by Olympians. Have your child learn from an Olympian who can teach them not just the value of hard work, but inspire them with personal stories of triumph and how they overcame the struggles that ultimately brought the Olympic glory. This summer two locations are available: Fort Myers, Florida in June and Houston, TX for July. For more information on the camps and Olympians conducting the camps visit www.aqindex.com