Hot summers mean outdoor water activities with friends and family to cool off. While being outside in the water is fun and healthy, it’s very easy to neglect or forget about safety.
This week we will discuss all things summer water safety. Whether you spend your summers swimming, boating, kayaking, or canoeing, this safety topic will cover it all!
Monday Swimming Safety
As the temperatures climb, many people gravitate towards the pool or beach to stay cool. It is important to keep safe swimming practices in mind as drowning is a risk to both beginner and advanced swimmers, especially at unfamiliar beaches with possible rip currents.
- Always swim with a partner and ensure all children and pets are supervised. If you notice a child is missing, check the water first.
- Never swim if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Stay conscious of your swimming limitations and capabilities. Take a break if you feel fatigued.
- Do not swim in dangerous weather conditions.
- Stay hydrated. The heat at the sandy beach can dehydrate you very quickly. Know the symptoms of overheating in animals as well.
- Keep appropriate safety equipment nearby. Reaching or throwing devices, first aid kits, life jackets, and a cell phone can potentially save a life.
- Protect your skin with sunscreen and limit the amount of time you spend in the sun.
- If bringing your pet out onto open water, ensure they wear a life vest!
Be aware that drowning victims do not always act like they do in the movies! They may not be splashing around or yelling for help but can still be in need of help.
Tuesday Boating Safety
Operating a boat requires concentration, skill, and awareness of the boat and its position on the water. It is also important to look out for other boaters, water enthusiasts, and wildlife. A clear head and a responsible outlook are also necessary to make a day on the water as smooth and safe as possible.
Here are some tips to keep in mind next time you’re on a boat:
- Do not overload! Be mindful of the boat’s capacity plate.
- Stay aware. Keep a good lookout for other boats or object in the water.
- Ensure all passengers wear USCG approved personal flotation devices. They may be able to swim, but if they are knocked unconscious and go overboard, the life jacket will help keep the head above water.
- Watch your speed! Only operate at safe and legal speeds.
- Do not operate a boat in dangerous weather conditions.
- Never operate a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Keep a safe distance between your boat and other boats, jet skis, or objects in the water.
Wednesday Boat Maintenance
Keeping your boat in good condition is necessary for safe boating. Neglecting routine maintenance can lead to high repair costs down the line. Environmental conditions will wear and tear at your boat so regular conditioning will keep it running smoothly for a long time. Here are some tips for keeping your boat in tip top shape!
- Regular oil change. After 100 hours of use, the oil in your boat should be changed.
- If you dock your boat in a public lake or marina, look for nearby servicing professionals. Consider getting your boat looked at by professionals to ensure all parts are working properly.
- Clean the boat after every use.
- Look for leaks, rusted bolts, and cracked fuel lines, and repair or change as needed.
Proper boat maintenance is necessary if you want a summer full of boating adventures.
Boat maintenance information from FIX: Make the Most of Your Time on the Water.
Thursday Canoeing and Kayaking Safety
Maybe boating isn’t your thing but you like taking canoeing or kayaking trips. While different from boating, these activities share many safety tips. Being out in open water can be dangerous so it is important to keep these tips in mind next time you head out.
- Ensure you have proper training. Manning a canoe or kayak can be difficult for new learners. Ensure beginners and children are supervised at all times.
- Wear and keep appropriate safety equipment nearby. Reaching or throwing devices, first aid kits, life jackets, and a cell phone can potentially save a life. Ensure you are visible to other paddlers or boaters.
- Paddle within your limits. Take things slow and be cautious.
- Lookout for hazards or other paddlers in the water.
- Know re-entry techniques before heading out into the water. Capsizing is always a possibility when paddling so knowing these techniques before you need them could save your life.
- Never paddle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Paddling safety information from American Canoe Association.
Do you plan on boating, canoeing, or kayaking this summer? Do you feel confident in your abilities to operate a boat or man a paddle? Have you preformed the proper maintenance routines on your boat for the summer? Do you know any other safety tips that could help your coworkers stay safe in the waters this summer? Share with the group.
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