Planning a Vacation? Here’s How to Keep Your Swimmers Safe
What You Need to Know to Stay Safe While Swimming in the Ocean
Family travels to the beach & lake are full of excitement and create lifelong memories. It’s quite easy to get caught up in the moment and forget simple safety tips that will help keep your family safe. Water doesn’t discriminate – and while it’s amazing and beautiful, the reality is, it’s harsh and cruel to those who don’t stay aware.
Every year, news stories tally up of families who experience tragic water-related accidents while on vacation. Before you and your family travel to anywhere that involves a body of water, it’s important to be aware of some water safety & travel tips that will help keep your family safe.
Top 10 Travel & Water Safety Tips:
- Make sure everyone knows how to swim. Drowning is 100 percent preventable; according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, formal swim lessons reduce the chances of drowning by 88 percent.
- Be weather-wise. Unfortunately, we can’t control the weather – a beautiful day, full of sunshine can quickly take a turn for the worse. Always check the weather before you leave out on any excursion on or near the water, and continue checking the weather throughout the day – we recommend downloading a weather app. Here’s a great link for the best mobile-friendly weather apps: What’s the Best Weather App? Here Are 5 Great Options
- Use common sense. If you go to the beach or pool and nobody else is around – there is probably a reason for that. Look for safety signs, flags, or other notices that might give the warning to stay out of the water.
- Know your beach warning flags! Almost any beach you go to will have a beach flag warning system to let visitors know about the current conditions. These flags are not a suggestion and are not to be taken lightly. USA Today has a great explanation for the flags you might see while on a beach vacation: What Do Beach Warning Flags Mean?
- Always assign each family member a life jacket before ever boarding any watercraft. Even the strongest of swimmers can drown. Accidents happen, but they are preventable. Make sure your life jackets are Coast Guard approved!
- Never let anyone swim alone. No matter the age or experience of a swimmer – it’s always best to swim with a buddy and try to swim near a lifeguard. We always recommend having Water Watchers present anytime that anyone is in the water. Here’s our blog on how to be a great Water Watcher: Best Practices For Being a Water Watcher. Click here.
- Enter all bodies of water feet first! Especially the first time you get in – you’ll want to get in feet first to be aware of the depth of the water, and anything else that could be potentially dangerous.
- Never swim in a marina. It’s not safe to swim in a marina where boats are constantly going in and out. Boats cannot stop on a dime, and they have a lot of blind spots.
- Even if a boat is turned off or not moving, stay away from the engine – boat propellers are extremely dangerous. Always stay clear to avoid injury.
- We say it often, and we’ll say it again – wear sunscreen and stay hydrated. The sun can be very unkind, and you will want to avoid painful sunburns by applying sunscreen to all members of your family. And as always, drink lots of water!
Above all, enjoy the time spent together with your family while on vacation – just stay safe.