May 23 through May 29 marks Healthy and Safe Swimming Week. This observance provides an opportunity to focus on simple steps everyone can take to help ensure healthy and safe swimming experiences.
Importance of Learning to Swim
The Division of Injury and Substance Abuse Prevention encourages all SC residents to engage in swimming lessons no matter your age, culture, or ethnic background. Even basic swimming lessons have helped enable people in times of flooding to escape worsening situations and get to help.
Swimming is also a healthy form of exercise that is easy on joints and a cool and relaxing alternative to high impact exercise such as running or biking. Learning to swim sets a great example for children and can be a fun family activity, too.
South Carolina has a number of wonderful bodies of water for recreational uses from the natural water bodies such as lakes, ponds, rivers, and oceans to man-made water attractions such as pools and water parks.
Designate an Adult as a Water Watcher
Many drowning deaths occur with multiple adults in proximity to water where the drowning takes place. It can be easy in large groups to assume that someone else has eyes on the water.
A simple solution is to designate a responsible adult as a “Water Watcher.” Responsible adults can even take turns.
Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization dedicated to children’s injury prevention, recommends a lanyard or badge that designated “Water Watchers” can wear during their turn, so that there is no confusion about whose is the designated individual.
Steps to Stay Safe in Your Own Backyard Pool
- Provide continuous and close supervision to swimmers
- Know how to recognize a swimmer in distress and how to perform CPR
- Prevent access to water when the pool is not in use.
- Keep pool chemicals away from children and pets.
- Wear safety equipment such as masks, gloves, and goggles when handling pool chemicals.