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Area NO. 1 Outdoor Club

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Swimming Safety

Read and obey all rules and posted signs.

Never swim during a storm or when there is lightning.

Swim only in safe, guarded areas.

Know how deep the water is.

Don’t dive or jump into water that is not at least 12 feet deep.

Don’t run around a pool, push people in or dunk other swimmers.

Don’t chew gum or eat food while swimming, diving or playing in the water.

Take swimming lessons.

Drowning can be prevented. Here's what you can do.

Watch out for the dangerous “too’s” – too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity.

Never swim alone. Always swim with a "buddy." Keep an eye on each other. Parents should make sure they are watching their children, even when other adults or a lifeguard is present.

Don't drink alcohol if you are planning to swim or go boating. Alcohol slows reaction time and affects balance and judgment.

Use extra caution if you have a medical condition, such as a seizure disorder, diabetes or a heart problem that can cause disability or loss of consciousness while in the water. A change in medication or skipping medication can have disastrous results.

Be aware that in natural bodies of water, swift current, deep water and/or a sudden drop-off can get you in trouble, even if you are a good swimmer.

Recognize a drowning person when you see one. Many people think that if someone is not calling for help, that person is not in trouble. Remember that when someone is drowning, he or she is trying to breathe, not speak. It may appear that the person is splashing or waving. Typically, the person thrashes in the water with arms extended, attempting to keep his or her head above water. This happens VERY FAST.. in as few as 20 seconds or as long as a minute. Any delay can be fatal.

Watch for signs of heat stroke: Heat stroke is life-threatening. The person's temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working.

  • The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly.

  • Signals of heat stroke include –

    • Hot, red, and usually dry skin, but in some cases such as during athletic activity while wearing a helmet, the skin may be moist

    • Changes in consciousness

    • Rapid, weak pulse, and

    • Rapid, shallow breathing.

  • Call 9-1-1 or your local EMS number.

  • Move the person to a cooler place.

  • Quickly cool the body by wrapping wet sheets around the body and fan it. If you have ice packs or cold packs, place them on each of the victim's wrists and ankles, in the armpits and on the neck to cool the large blood vessels.

  • Watch for signals of breathing problems and make sure the airway is clear.

  • Keep the person lying down

Keeping Children Safe In, On, and Around the Water

Maintain constant supervision. Watch children around any water environment (pool, stream, lake, tub, toilet, bucket of water), no matter what skills your child has acquired and no matter how shallow the water. For younger children, practice "Reach Supervision" by staying within an arm's length reach.
Don't rely on substitutes. The use of flotation devices and inflatable toys cannot replace parental supervision. Such devices could suddenly shift position, lose air, or slip out from underneath, leaving the child in a dangerous situation.
 
Enroll children in a water safety course or Learn-to-Swim classes. Your decision to provide your child with an early aquatic experience is a gift that will have infinite rewards. These courses encourage safe practices. You can also purchase a Water Safety Handbook at the Red Cross Store.
 
Parents should take a CPR course. Knowing these skills can be important around the water and you will expand your capabilities in providing care for your child. You can contact your local Red Cross to enroll in a CPR course.