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Tips for Staying Safe Around Bodies of Water

Tips for Staying Safe Around Bodies of Water

Practicing Proper Water Safety

Summer in the Sierra is the perfect time to enjoy lakes like Tahoe and Topaz, rivers, and swimming pools. Whether you’re boating, swimming, or just relaxing by the water, it's crucial to prioritize safety. Carson Valley Health is committed to the well-being of our community, which is why we’re sharing some essential tips to help you stay safe around bodies of water and enjoy the summer season to the fullest.

1. Learn to Swim

One of the most effective ways to stay safe in and around water is to learn how to swim. Swimming lessons can equip both children and adults with the skills they need to feel confident and safe in the water. The Carson Valley Swim Center in Minden offers swimming classes for all age groups.

It is also important not to overestimate your swimming abilities. Stay within designated swimming areas and avoid venturing into deep or open waters if you are not a strong swimmer. Fatigue can set in quickly, especially in cold water, so take frequent breaks and always remember to swim with a buddy.

2. Always Supervise Children

Never leave children unsupervised near water, even for a moment. Drowning can happen quickly and silently. Make sure an adult who knows how to swim and perform CPR is always supervising children when they are in or near water. For added safety, consider using life jackets for young children or weak swimmers.

3. Wear Life Jackets

When boating, kayaking, or participating in any other water activities, always wear a properly fitted life jacket. Life jackets are not just for children; adults should also wear them for added safety on the water.

4. Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol consumption can impair your judgment, balance, and coordination, increasing the risk of accidents and drowning. To stay safe, avoid drinking alcohol before or during water activities.

5. Be Aware of Weather Conditions

Check the weather forecast before heading to the water. Sudden changes in weather, such as thunderstorms or high winds, can create dangerous conditions. If you notice dark clouds, lightning, or rough waters, it’s best to get out of the water and seek shelter immediately.

6. Follow Local Safety Rules

Pay attention to local water safety rules and guidelines. Obey signs and warnings posted at beaches, lakes, and pools. These rules are in place to protect you from hazards, such as strong currents, sharp rocks, or dangerous marine life.

7. Keep Safety Equipment Nearby

In case of an emergency, it’s important to have safety equipment readily accessible, such as rescue rings, reaching poles, and first aid kits. Familiarize yourself with where these items are located and how to use them if needed.

8. Take Breaks and Stay Hydrated

Spending time in the sun and water can be physically exhausting. Take regular breaks to rest and rehydrate. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and apply sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Education and Awareness Is Important

By following these tips, you can enjoy a safe and fun time around bodies of water this summer. If you have any health concerns or need medical assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact Carson Valley Health at (775) 782-1550 today.