Oceans, lakes, and Rivers offer fun, moving water, murky visibility, and added risk. The top 10 Water Safety Guidelines from the previous blog on pool safety apply to oceans, lakes, and rivers. However, there are more things to be aware of and prepared for in a lake river or ocean.
Which of the Top 10 Water Safe Behaviors are the same for pools as well as oceans, rivers, or lakes?
1 Never Swim Alone, Swim with a Buddy. Yes
2 Enter Feet First. Yes
Oceans: Before entering the surf, watch the pattern of the surf and waves; where are they breaking, is it a flat or hilly entrance, can you see any rip currents? Rip currents are just that, rivers of fast-moving ocean water retreating from the shore. Take note of the weather, where are the lifeguard towers?
Studies show that there are less drownings when lifeguards are present? They are well trained and can help tell your where to swim. It’s estimated that the chance of drowning at a beach protected by trained is less than 1 of 18 million per year. (State Farm 2021, https://www.statefarm.com/simple-insights/family/swimming-and-water-safety-tips)
Oceans, Lakes, & River Safety Tips
3 Don’t jump in to save a friend. Reach, throw, don’t go. Yes*
Look for lifeguard stations, seek help from trained lifeguards. *
4 Stay away from the pool drain.
Instead of drains stay away from jetties, rocks, rip currents, strong river
currents, spillways, dams etc. Yes
5 Learn How to Swim. Yes
Lakes: Survey the lake, where are the lifeguard towers, is the lake bottom rocky or sandy, enter feet first, swim close to land, check the weather and when you are cold or tired head to shore and take a break, eat, and drink water. If you are in a boat wear a life jacket.
Oceans, Lakes, & River Safety Tips
6 Supervise young children. Never turn your back on the ocean. Yes
7 Teach your kids how to be safe in the water, by your actions & words. Yes
8 Learn CPR. Yes
9 Use only U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets. Wear them. Yes
Rivers: Survey the river. Do you see swirling waters? Wear a life vest. Don’t
venture from the edge, currents run fast and deep. Evan strong, experienced swimmers are no match for the power of a river.
Pet Water Safety
Dogs near a river, lake, or pond need a life jacket. Bring water for you pets so they don’t drink the river water. Sometimes drinking the water results in parasites like giardia or an upset stomach. A river current can seem deceptively slow and fast flowing currents can sweep your pet down river. Dogs can panic just as humans can. They can get tired and slip underwater.
Plan. Don’t Wait. Disasters Don’t Wait.
10 Home Swimming Pool Safety vs. Oceans, Lakes, and Rivers Yes
As you just read pool safety and oceans, river and lake water safety are similar in preparation. Knowledge is the key when it comes to water and pool safety. Educating children from a very young age, and keeping yourself informed, can lead to a lifetime of healthy, safe swimmers.
Pets and the Ocean
Some breeds of dogs can’t swim due to their physical shape or structure, Bulldog, Pug, Boxer, Basset Hound, Pekingese, and Dachshund.
Carry water for your pet since salt water is dehydrating. Also, rinse your dog off to remove excess salt. Just as human skin dries out from salt so can our pets’ skin be irritated. Pet stores already carry pet life vests! Don’t let them wander to far from the land while they frolic in the ocean. (Tufts University, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine) Supervise kids and dogs around all types of water!
Poor planning on your part does not necessitate an emergency on mine
We are all responsible for our own safety. Use commonsense behavior and enjoy the water.
Resources: Dip your toes in the water with our swimming and water safety tips State Farm 2021, https://www.statefarm.com/simple-insights/family/swimming-and-water-safety-tips
SK Simple Solutions can help organize your vital documents, Grab Bags, First Aid kits and Pet Prepping! Contact us now.