Family Health: Water Safety
05/04/2016 01:51PM ● Published by Jennifer Gonzalez
Wherever your summer adventures take you, we want you to have fun, but we also want you to be safe. Here are tips on how to stay safe at the beach, the lake and the pool. Don’t forget to bring your towel, sunscreen, that stylish wide-brimmed hat, a bottle of water and a good book to read!
Beach Safety Tips from The Official Travel and Tourism Website of North Carolina:
- Wear sunscreen. Proper and regular application of sunscreen to exposed skin will help protect your skin from sunburn and sun damage. Remember to apply sunscreen every time you get out of the water.
- Be aware of Rip Currents. According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), indicators of rip currents include a channel of churning, choppy water, notable differences in water color, lines of foam, seaweed or debris moving steadily seaward, and a break in the incoming wave pattern. If you are caught in a rip current, don’t fight the current. Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. If you are unable to swim out of rip current, float or calmly tread water.
- Heed beach warning flags. Watch for flags posted at beach access sites to understand water conditions.
- Be aware. Jellyfish and Portuguese man o’war stings are best avoided by staying aware of beach surroundings. If you spot either, stay calm, get out of the water and alert others. Though the chance of encountering a shark in North Carolina waters are very low, to further reduce your risk do not enter the water or swim near a pier, as they attract baitfish that sharks feed on, avoid waters used by sport or commercial fisherman, stay in groups, refrain from excess splashing and do not enter the water if bleeding.
Lake Safety Tips from Smith Lake Army Recreation Area
- Follow the directions of lifeguard and staff.
- Children under 15 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
- Swim in designated swim areas. Stay off floating docks.
- No food or drink within 10 feet of the beach. No alcohol. No glass containers.
- Inflatable rafts, water wings/floaties and toys are not permitted in the swimming area.
- No horseplay or obscene language.
- No diving or jumping anywhere in lake.
- No pets.
- The swimming area will be cleared 10 minutes prior to each hour and daily from 2:30-3:00 for a safety check.
General Pool Safety
- Follow water safety rules.
- Listen to the lifeguard.
- Walk, don’t run.
- Never leave children alone in or near the pool, even for a minute.
- Make sure adults watching young children in the pool know CPR.
- Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd's hook and a life preserver) and a telephone near the pool.
- Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”
- Don’t swallow pool water.
- If you are in an outdoor pool, re-apply sunscreen each time you get out of the water.