May is National Water Safety month and with summer quickly approaching most of us will find ourselves enjoying some relaxation time by the pool or at the beach.
No matter your age, it is important to stay alert and be mindful if you are in and or around water. Even though swimming is one of summer’s most popular activities, it unfortunately increases the number of unintentional drownings or near-drowning accidents and injuries.
There are plenty of ways to be proactive and demonstrate water safety precautions in our own community. An emergency can happen at any time, so it is important to be able to recognize and respond to any emergency. Be vigilant and maintain constant supervision at all times, if you see something say something. Before visiting the pool with family and friends, discuss a safety plan in case of an emergency. In addition, many of us who live in Florida have pools right in our backyard. When not using your pool at home, make sure you have safety procedures set in place.
When visiting a community or public pool please read and obey all rules and posted signs, they are displayed to keep you, your family and friends safe. At the pool please be watchful of any non-durable flotation devices such as, inflatable tubes, inflatable floats, swim rings, noodles, water wings, inflatable vests, and blow-up rafts. These items are not considered a life saving device, tend to not be very sturdy, and are likely to fail without warning. Water wings can float off a child’s arm, a belt float can unhook, and anyone can easily slide out of a noodle or inflatable tube. It is recommended by safety experts to utilize a US Coast Guard approved life jacket if a flotation device is needed.
A great way to learn about policies and procedures when it comes to water safety is to enroll in a water safety course, such as swim lessons, a CPR certification class, or by participating in community events such as the World’s Largest Swim Lesson. Luckily, residents can take advantage of these opportunities right here in Celebration. Our aquatics program offers swim lessons for all ages and more recently began coordinating a community CPR class twice a year. Residents also have the opportunity to participate in the World’s Largest Swim Lesson at Spring Park pool on Thursday, June 20, at 10 a.m. The event focuses on drowning prevention and the importance of teaching kids to swim and learning basic water safety skills.
- Do not swim alone; even at a public pool or lifeguarded pool, use the buddy system
- Teach family members basic water safety tips, and share safety instructions with family friends
- Have a telephone close by when visiting the pool with family and friends
- Keep small children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments
- Learn to perform CPR on children and adults, and know when and how to call 9-1-1 or a local emergency number in the event of an emergency
- Maintain constant supervision
- If not a strong swimmer, always wear a life vest
- Stay within designated swim areas.