Outdoor Activities: Basic Water Safety Rules to Live By

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You don’t need to question if water mishaps take place, because they do. All you have to do is check out the local papers or media to see that injuries happen every day, particularly as we spend more time outside and get closer to summer.

The fact that you or any member of your family has not experienced an accident shouldn’t cause you to overlook the issue of safety in or around the water. You could be heading for a holiday or that special weekend near a beach with your family and/or friends, and haven’t given much time to thinking about basic water safety skills. You don’t have to wait until an incident happens before you start taking precautions.

Swimming Skills, Flotation Devices, and Lifesaving Lessons

Swimming pools and other bodies of water (lakes, rivers, and oceans) are a part of most outdoor vacations. Therefore, it’s important for you to be aware of the swimming skills of children (and adults) in the group.

If the child is not a strong swimmer, then make sure they are wearing some type of lifesaving aid. These can include life vests, floaties, or even floatation swim suits. Some parents may let their children use inner tubes, but a child can slip through the opening, so it’s better to have something that is secure around the body. Even if the child is not actually in the water, it is still wise to ensure that they have something on that will keep them afloat if they fall in, get pushed in or jump in after a toy.

Never leave children unattended around a body of water, regardless of their swimming skills. Flotation devices could fail or come off, or the child could become injured, stressed, or scared, and panic, causing them to forget what to do in the event of an emergency.

A parent or involved adult is responsibility for constantly monitoring children when they are playing in and around water. If the parent is not going to be present, then they need to make sure that another responsible adult takes their place.

For parents and involved adults, it is advisable to learn vital lifesaving skills so that they can effectively respond in any outdoor water sport emergency. These skills and basic swimming skills can be provided through Red Cross organizations or other local facilities.

Remember that rules and guidelines for water safety are not in place to spoil the fun, but instead to make sure that everyone is safe and enjoys their time in the water. Just keep the basic rules in mind, and it will be a great time for all!

With the warmer months upon us, what water safety rules will you teach your kids? How do you make sure that your kids follow the rules? What flotation devices do you buy for your kids to ensure water safety?

Jane Warren enjoys outdoor water sports such as swimming, diving, and boating. She started the review blog TowableTubesDirect.com which provides reviews, and recommendations on inflatable boats, airhead towable tubes, and safety related accessories like Garmin marine GPS units. Based on her own experience with water safety, she also provides tips for being safe in all types of water sport activities.

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