Guest Blog – Summer Swim Safety
Tuesday July 7, 2009see more by jen
This guest blog was sent by a local mom and water fantatic, Michele. She writes…
“In my college days, I was a swim instructor and lifeguard for the YMCA. I come from a boating family and spend many, many hours in the pool and ocean every summer. I think I’m part fish! But as confident as I am in the water, I still take precautions to ensure my safety and the safety of my kids.
I wrote “Water Safety and Your Child: Useful Advice for Summertime Swimming” for LA Parent and Parenthood.com. I did hours of research for the article and the checklists that accompany it. It’s still online and stands the test of time. I will never forget talking to GOOD mothers who lost a child to drowning.
Read the article for more detailed info, but the highlights are:
- Stay within arm’s reach of children under 4 years old.
- Don’t get a false sense of security just because you have safety measures in place (the moms I talked to had fences around their pools).
- Always swim at beaches with lifeguards. I’ve even made it a habit to go up and talk to the lifeguard about conditions. Where is it the safest to swim? Is there a rip current? Any other hazards I should know about. I appreciate their input – they are the experts on conditions at that particular beach on that particular day.
- Protect your spinal cord – that means no diving in shallow water or when you can’t see the bottom. Always put your arms out first. Broken arms are easier to fix than broken necks.
One last word – I know a lot of people who are petrified about swimming in the ocean vs. pool. I have spent MANY hours in the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii. I’ve never been pulled into a rip current, never been stung by a jellyfish, never stepped on a stingray, and never been seriously injured in the water. Just use common sense and you’ll have a blast!
Two more useful links on water safety:
Be safe and have a great summer!”
Michele is a freelance writer and the mom responsible for Fun Orange County Parks. You might run into her at the beach this summer with her 7 year old boy and 3 year old girl.