Understanding water safety
Understanding water safety 

Understanding water safety

Thursday, May 30, 2024


Are you ready to make a splash this summer? Make sure you stay safe as well. The best way to ensure you and your loved ones are safe is through water competency.   


According to the American Red Cross, “Water competency is a way of improving water safety for yourself and those around you through avoiding common dangers, developing fundamental water safety skills and knowing how to prevent and respond to drowning emergencies.”    


In addition to water competency, here are some tips to keep you safe all summer long no matter what kind of water you’re enjoying.  


Swimming safely in pools  

Whether it’s a pool at your home or a public pool, being vigilant is important for the safety of children and adults alike. Here are some tips from the American Red Cross.


  • Secure your pool during non-swim times: Oftentimes drowning deaths occur when children aren’t expected to be near the water. Keep your pool secured to prevent any accidents.   

  • Keep inexperienced swimmers safe: Make sure they wear approved life jackets and stay within arm’s length of them.  


Enjoying hot tubs safely  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends following HOT steps for hot tub safety.


  • Heed (H): Heed rules about hot tub safety. Don’t go in if you’re sick, don’t swallow any water and don’t allow small children to get in. 

  • Observe (O): Observe the hot tub and its surroundings. The temperature should not exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit, there shouldn’t be a strong odor and the filtration devices should be working appropriately.

  • Talk (T): Talk to the hot tub’s owner and other users to make sure it’s been inspected and is in working order.  

Swimming safely in lakes, streams and rivers  

Swimming in natural water is different from swimming in a pool or a hot tub for many reasons. There are weather concerns, animals, vegetation, currents and waves. Check out these tips from The American Red Cross. 


  • Take care when entering the water: Always enter feet first, especially in shallow water or water you’re unfamiliar with. 

  • Don’t swim alone: Swim with a friend and stay sober. Make sure someone is always watching over the group to ensure your safety.  


Swimming safely in the ocean  

There’s nothing like a day at the beach. Keep these tips from the National Ocean Service in mind so your day stays sunny and fun.


  • Be careful of the ocean waves: Ocean water can be unpredictable. Rip currents (strong currents of water that can pull you out to the ocean) and shore breaks (when ocean waves crash against the shoreline) often occur. Always make sure to swim at beaches with a lifeguard on duty.  

  • Be aware of what’s in the water: Marine life like jellyfish and sharks, trash and debris and harmful algal blooms can be dangerous for swimmers and beachgoers.  


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Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.