Simple rules to stay safe in and around the water


youtube bannerSummer is almost here and the splashy swim season can begin. In pools, lakes, rivers and oceans the fun can be endless, yet it is important to be prepared so is stays fun.

  1. Reach or throw..Don’t go!

It’s a scary scene. Seeing someone struggling in the water is frightening. The first instinct is to jump in and simply pull them out. Here is the catch. Most likely you both would drown since the victim is in panic, will jump on your and push you and water with a tight grip. Thus the rule is, reach or throw but don’t go. ….too close. Take a deep breath, asses the situation, call out for help, look around what you can use to reach the drowning victim. By the pool you most likely have a life saver with a rope or a pole. But even in nature resource are there. Use a branch or and ore. If the victim is too far to reach, make sure it is safe to enter the water, swim out but make sure to keep distance. Use a something like a branch or life saver for the person you are saving to grab. Remember, if you get to close the panicked person will jump on you and push you under water. It’s extremely hard to hold up a person treading water. Just try it with your child that can swim in a pool. If the person is unconscious already  dive under him or her and approach from the back and pull the victim to shore. Most important rule though is, reach or throw! Don’t put two people in trouble for help to arrive. Stay calm, get something to reach out with and help.


  1. Don’t just pack it – Wear your jacket

I cannot stress the importance of learning how to swim in the first place. But if you go out on a boat make sure to wear a life jacket. If you have your child sitting on a paddle board make sure he or she wears a life jacket, even if he or she can swim. Many things can happen when you are on a boat. Falling over board can be traumatic, you could hit your head or or or all leading to simply forgetting how to swim. Thus wear a life jacket to give you the time to get to your senses and survive. So Pack it and wear you jacket!

Do make sure the life jacket is approved by the Coast Guard and makes you float face up. Many cheaper life jackets float people face down.


  1. DCIM104GOPROSummer is almost here and the lakes are filling up with eager swimmers.

We always suggest to never swim alone. You never know what can happen. Swim as a pair and if there is one swim near a life guard. Stay in the designated areas. From a simple cramp to getting stuck on a plant simple things can get us into trouble in the water. So buddy up and stay in sight. Now let’s dive into summer.


  1. Be cool and follow the rules

Sometimes we think being funny by not following the rules is the way to go. If we like it or not, rules are there for a reason especially by a pool. It’s not worth losing a life over a cheap joke. No pushing, no holding people under water or simple chasing someone on the slippery pool deck. There is plenty of fun you can have. Responsible risk taking doesn’t mean stupid actions. So follow the rules by the pool. It’s safer and more fun for all.


  1. In your house and in your yard, you are the ceo and guard.

CEO stands for constant eye on. If you have water in your house or around your house, you need to observe your child. As a self-resuce swim instructor I also stress the importance of learning important survival swim skills, but it will never replace the constant supervision that is required by the guardian. Bathtub, pool, pond or river can be detrimental for a child naturally drawn to it. Even a bucket of water is a hazard. So make sure your child is empowered with survival skills and that you are the CEO and guard at all times.


  1. Look before you leap

The sudden impact of jumping and hitting the ground of something unexpected can send a jolt down your spine an paralyze you.  Jumping into water is a blast, I get that and love it. Yet just be smart about it. Especially in lakes, ponds and rivers,  you never know where a rock sticks up or a plant grows. If you jump into natural bodies of water, make absolutely sure it is safe. Same applies to pools. Don’t be deceived by how it looks, get in and check how deep the water is or follow the pool rules on where to jump in.

Look before you leap and all the fun is yours.


  1. Think so you don’t sink.

There are a few things that can get us into trouble. A muscle cramp, we are getting too tired, too cold, we get caught in a current or our boat capsizes. First and foremost, stay calm. Calmy attend to your cramp and then continue swimming. Know when you are starting to get tired, get out or go into a float to rest. When you are cold, simply get out of the water and warm up. Don’t fight a current, get into a floating position and go with the flow. Seek rest on your capsized boat. So don’t panic but think so you don’t sink.


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