Cool off and stay safe with these important swimming safety tips!
When that hot summer sun is beating down, many of us have two favorite places to be: in the air conditioning or in the water! Whether you’re planning to hit the pool, take a trip to the beach, or visit your favorite local lake or swimming hole, make sure to follow these important swimming safety tips.
- Go with a companion
- Protect your ears with earplugs
- Apply plenty of sunscreen
- Use goggles to protect your eyes
- Swim in regulated areas
- Know your limits
- Be conscious of the temperature
- Check with your doctor about exercise
Learn about these swimming safety tips below.
Go with a companion
No matter your skill level or where you’re swimming — even if it’s somewhere with a lifeguard — it’s always a safer and smarter idea to go with at least one other person. This way, you can stick together and keep an eye on one another.
Protect your ears with earplugs
Water and ears aren’t always friendly with each other! It’s recommended for swimmers to wear ear plugs, especially when they’re in open water. This prevents bacteria from causing unpleasant infections like swimmer’s ear!
Apply plenty of sunscreen
When you’re swimming outdoors, make sure to use a water-resistant sunscreen and re-apply it at the recommended intervals. Put sunscreen on every part of the skin that’s exposed (including often-forgotten areas like the ears and the tops of your feet!). If you use hearing aids, be sure to take them out before applying sunscreen to avoid damaging them.
Use goggles to protect your eyes
Anyone who’s ever gotten chlorine in their eyes or been hit in the face with a salty ocean wave knows why goggles are valuable! They protect your eyes from chemicals and bacteria and help you see if you end up underwater.
Swim in regulated areas
It might sound exciting to swim in a wilderness area or river without lifeguards or regulations, but there are safety risks too. Slippery rocks, strong currents, and other hazards can turn your day into a less fun experience. Plan your day at a safe swimming area where you know you’re not far away from trained professionals in case anyone in your group needs first aid.
Know your limits
Swimming can be a strenuous cardio activity, so it’s important that you don’t push yourself too far. If your goal is to swim for exercise, work up to longer sessions at a pace that feels comfortable. If you have a local fitness center with a pool, you can try a water aerobics class to help with conditioning!
Be conscious of the temperature
You may not think you need to worry about hot temperatures on a swimming day, but you should still check the forecast. Usually, when you go somewhere to swim, it ends up being a mix of swimming and sunbathing. If there’s extreme heat, you can certainly still be at risk for heat illness or dehydration.
The same advice goes for the opposite direction on the thermometer — even when it’s warm outside the water you plan to swim in could still be dangerously cold, especially early in the season. It’s always important to check both the weather and the water temperature before you go!
Check with your doctor about exercise
Before starting any new exercise routine, it’s best to check with your doctor and see what advice they have. They may have some tips about what kind of swimming is safe for you, whether you’re taking any medications that make you extra sun-sensitive, and more.
With these swimming safety tips, you’ll be ready to take the plunge into as many pools, lakes, and oceans as your heart desires! Next, check out our article with tips on staying hydrated while you’re enjoying your summer activities.