#WaterSafety With the soaring temperatures, swimming in cool water brings some welcome relief.
But drowning is an ever-present risk when people go on outings to rivers, beaches, dams and swimming pools.
Special care must be taken at isolated dams, rivers and pools on farms and in rural areas, especially after heavy rain
in the area.
Even a small inflatable pool or bucket full of water, is a potential danger for toddlers if they are not supervised.
Safe swimming in the sea - be extra cautious when swimming in the sea, even experienced swimmers have drowned in the sea.
- Before entering the sea, swimmers must take time to watch the waves and must avoid places where there is a strong backwash, obvious rip currents or a danger of being washed onto the rocks.
- Check the weather and the tides before you leave home - if the sea is too rough, you could be swept away.
- Only enter where the waves are straight and gentle.
- If you experience a strong current, get out of the
sea, or at least do not go in deep.
- It is better to swim when the tide is rising as the sea will tend to wash you ashore and the backwash and rip currents are not so strong.
- Check with the lifeguard/s on duty what the surf conditions are before entering the sea.
- Only swim in designated areas that are supervised by lifeguards.
- If the lifeguards give you directions or instructions from the beach, obey them.
- Look out for warning signs and flags - a red flag means it is dangerous to swim.
- A red-and-yellow flag means lifeguards are on duty and you should only swim in the area between the flags.
- Never swim while you are intoxicated.
Alcohol impairs judgement and unnecessary risks are taken.
An intoxicated swimmer will tire more easily, increasing the chance of an accident or drowning.
Never swim alone.
Don't duck and push other into or around water.
Ensure that water depths are appropriate for swimming and diving.
Never dive into muddy or unclear water.
Do not swim during electrical storm.
Do not enter the water unless you are a strong swimmer.
When swimming in dams, check the edge of the dam for soft mud.
Move slowly to the water, if the ground gives way - Retreat.
Weeds may occur in all environment and should be avoided whenever possible.
If caught in a weed or kelp, swimmers should remain calm, keep all movement to a minimum and remove the weed or kelp before swimming out.
Be careful of currents and undertows in fast flowing river.
Extreme care should be taken when entering rivers due to changing conditions.
The following observation are important when you want to cross a river or if you want to swim in a river, lake or dam:
Before entering the water, check the strength of the current.
When caught in a fast flowing river, travel feet first, this will absorb the head and body from serious injury.
When you fall into water, unable to stand and reach the side quickly, you should stay calm, try not to swallow water and keep your head above the water by kicking as if you are cycling and by paddling with your hands at the same time.
When you swim in open water it's much harder than swimming in the still waters of a pool.
This means you may tire faster and that can lead to trouble very quickly.
When swimming in rivers or lakes, the murky water can make it difficult to find people who go under.
If you swim in a place with a strong current, such as where two rivers meet, it can be easy to be pulled under and swept away.
It's important when you're out on the water to wear an appropriately fitting life jacket in case you get tossed unexpectedly into the water.
This goes for children too.
Make sure you check the weather conditions on a day you will be out, and always make sure you have a cell phone handy as well as someone with you who can perform CPR if needed.
Talk to your children about the dangers of being in open water and tell them what to do in case of an emergency General safety tips:
The most important rule of water is that everyone should respect water and its environment.
Always read and obey advisory notices, it is for your safety.
Know where to get assistance.
Alcohol and water safety does not mix, alcohol abuse impairs your senses and judgment.
It is irresponsible to put others at risk while you are supposedly having fun.
If you are not trained to lifesaving or rescue techniques, use any suitable object (e.g.
an empty cooler box) to assist a person in difficulty and call for help.
Inflatable car tubes and lilo's are dangerous because they give you a false sense of safety and security.
Young children should be constantly supervised when near water, even during bath time.
The most dangerous time at the picnic, is upon arrival when parents are unpacking and children venture to discover their surroundings.
Children have an irresistible attraction to water.
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