Basic Water and Boat Safety

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If you and your family will be around a large body of water for an upcoming vacation, you may want to educate yourselves on some basic water safety tips, especially if you will be operating a boat or even simply riding along. Lakes, rivers, and oceans can provide everyone with an endless amount of fun and enjoyable activities, but they can also be dangerous as well. It is important if you will have young children with you, or those who can’t swim, that you pay extra close attention to them while around these bodies of water. Floats and other forms of life preservers are merely precautions and cannot compare to an adult’s supervision.

Some helpful safety tips and reminders:

  • Always have enough life jackets— Whether you will be going out on a boat ride or simply swimming, it is always a good idea to carry along enough life jackets for everyone present. You never know what situation might call for emergency action and life preservers can be very helpful in some instances. 
  • Familiarize yourself with basic CPR— Prepare for the worst so that you will be ready in case you need to act quickly to resuscitate or help someone in need. Especially if you know there will not be a lifeguard present wherever you will be swimming, knowing what steps the proper steps to take yourself can come in handy. There are many CPR courses available to the public so that you can educate yourself on these measures. 
  • Stay seated while boat is in motion— If you will be taking a boat ride at some point in your vacation, you should remember to always stay seated while the boat is in motion. Even if it feels like you have a good grip and will be able to maneuver around safely, unexpected bumps and turns can easily cause you to lose your balance. 
  • Only swim in designated areas— Many bodies of water also allow boating, fishing, and jet skiing. This can be dangerous for swimmers who are out in the water, unprotected. That is why it is extremely important to stay within the designated swimming boundaries. These areas are usually explicitly marked with signs and ropes so as long as you stay in these parameters, you will be safe. 
  • Swim with a buddy— It’s never safe to swim alone. You can become tired, disoriented, or lost when swimming in a large body of water so always be sure to bring at least one other person along. Stay near your partner so that you can both keep track of each other and are aware of each other’s whereabouts the whole time. 
  • Establish rules for the family to follow— You know your family best. If your kids aren’t strong swimmers or you don’t want your kids swimming in certain areas, make sure they understand this. Set guidelines for your kids to closely follow to ensure even more safety. 
  • Always stay within eye contact of children— Even children who are strong and confident swimmers can become exhausted when swimming, or go too far out from the shore. Be sure to always remain close enough to your children so that you can see them at all times. 

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