Beat the Heat: Water Safety
As summer descends on us, everyone has water on their minds. Whether it’s a trip to the pool or the lake, people are shopping for swimsuits and sunscreen. Participating in water activities is a great way to beat the Arizona heat, and there are plenty of local options for everyone.
But don’t just shop for a new swimsuit — make sure to stock up on safety as well.
Here are some tips:
• If you’re going to the pool, you’ll want to make sure you avoid heat injuries and sunburns with sunscreen, hats, shade umbrellas, and protective SPF-rated clothing, especially for little ones who will want to play in the sun for hours. Pack plenty of cool drinks, and include some with electrolytes to replenish what you lose when you sweat. Know the signs of heat injury, such as dizziness, fatigue, memory loss, headaches, and vomiting. Get help immediately if you notice any of these signs.
• If you’re going boating, pack the same protective gear to keep yourself shaded from the sun, and also make sure you have enough certified personal flotation devices for every passenger on the boat. You should also make sure you have a fully charged cellphone stored in a waterproof case so you can pull it out in the event of an emergency. Your boat should be in good working condition and you should have a plan in place if you accidentally become stranded in the middle of the lake.
• Whether swimming or boating, make sure to carry a first-aid kit. You never know when someone will stub a toe on the rough pool ground or get a rope burn when docking the boat.
• Keep the alcohol to a minimum. If you’re operating a watercraft, don’t drink at all. It’s illegal. If you’re a passenger, remember that alcohol can dehydrate you and leave you more susceptible to heat injuries. Consume alcohol with caution and make sure you’re drinking plenty of water as well.
• If you own a swimming pool, make sure it is properly secured at all times. Pools should have a secure fence all the way around the perimeter to keep pets and children from falling in. You can also invest in sensors that will alert you if someone goes near the pool. Keep a flotation device handy in case someone does fall in. Discuss pool rules with your family and review them on a regular basis. Make sure children know they are not allowed near the pool on their own.
• Invest in swimming lessons for your children so they know how to swim and how to get themselves out of the pool if they accidentally fall in.
Everyone should be able to enjoy the water this summer, and these tips will help you do it safely!