Apr 26, 2017

Summer Water Safety - Natural Bodies of Water

With Six Metro Detroit Locations to serve you in Canton, Novi, Sterling Heights, Troy, Auburn Hills and Farmington Hills.

Summer in Michigan, for my family, means spending long, lazy days at the beach.  I'm so excited for this summer to get started so we can enjoy some of our favorite local beaches, and a few of our favorite camping spots. And although natural waterways can be super fun to enjoy, you should take a few precautions to make sure you and your family are safe.

Water Safety at the Beach

Swim in safe areas - Natural waters can contain sharp rocks, dropoffs, rip currents (in the ocean), waves, or even waterfalls.  It is best to be familiar with your surroundings, so you and your family know what to expect.  Only swim in areas that you know are safe for swimming and where you have permission to swim.  If you are swimming in a natural body of water be sure to consider that wildlife may also be present in the water.  Jellyfish are present in the oceans. Turtles, leeches biting fish, crocodiles, alligators, and bacteria may be present in fresh water.  In Michigan, it is especially important to consider the e. Coli levels since many beaches close often during the summer due to dangerous levels.  

Set limits based on abilities - know your children's and your own ability to swim and tell your children what they can and cannot do based on their skills.  Younger children may be allowed to swim up to their knees at the beach while older children may be able to go up to their waist.

Enroll your child in formal swimming lessons: The America’s National Institute of Health study concluded that participation in formal swimming lessons, like those offered at Aqua-Tots Swim Schools of Michigan, was associated with an 88% reduction in the risk of drowning for children ages 1 to 4 years (Archives Pediatric Medicine, Vol 163 No 3, March 2009).

Always actively supervise children when they are near water - Eliminate distractions. Things like your phone, a book, or even a conversation can easily allow for a moment you are not watching your children.  It only takes a couple of seconds for a child to drown.

Within Reach Supervision for children under the age of 5 - It is highly recommended that children under the age of five be within your reach when in the water.  

Make it a rule to always have an adult supervise children when they swim - Be sure the children know they are NOT allowed to go in the water if there is not an adult actively watching them.

Swim with a buddy - Always swim with a friend so that if something goes wrong they are there to help you. This is especially important for young adults and children who should have adult supervision when swimming.

Water Safety on/near Boats 

The best way to prevent drowning is to know how to swim.  Boaters and riders are encouraged to learn this vital skill, even if they do not plan on getting in the water.
All passengers on boats and those participating in water sports such as skiing, tubing or jet-skiing should wear Coast Guard approved life jackets.

Avoid boater/swimmer accidents. If you decided to swim off board or participate in water sports, be aware of your surroundings to make sure that other boaters are able to see you and that you are not in their pathway. A designated lookout should keep an eye on swimmers in the group to make sure they are safe and watch for potential hazards like other boaters or jet skiers.  Boats should be kept out of designated swimming areas.

 Don't Drink and Drive - The same rules apply to watercrafts regarding the use of alcohol and operating vehicles.  Drinking impairs judgment and reaction time.  

Bring a Charged Cell Phone or Marine Radio.  Accidents happen and being prepared will give you the ability to get the help you need should the worst happen and you need help.  

Stay out of the Water in Bad Weather.  Bad weather can create choppy waves, reduce visibility and make boating and swimming dangerous.  Lightning can strike causing serious injury or death to those in the water. 

Here are some other great tips: 

·         Bring a first aid kit and phone with you
·         Enroll in a water safety course
·         Learn CPR & First Aid 
·         Use sunscreen
·         Drink plenty of water
·         Ensure children take adequate breaks while swimming
·         If a child is missing, look for him or her in the water first.
·         No Swimming in canals or fast moving water
·         Only swim in oceans when a lifeguard is on duty
·         Teach your children about Rip Currents when swimming in the ocean

·         Be aware of possible wildlife dangers while in or near natural waters

We hope you have a fantastic summer this year and enjoy the warm sunny rays and long summer days. 

More About Aqua-Tots

Teaching kids to swim has been the foundation of Aqua-Tots since they began. And today they still take special care to make sure their swim schools are a welcoming, comfortable and inviting place for kids of all ages at our Detroit area locations including Canton, Novi, Sterling Heights, Troy, Auburn Hills and Farmington Hills. Aqua-Tots Swim Schools of Michigan offers swim classes for babies, toddlers, infants, kids, swim team, adults, and children with special needs at over 70 locations worldwide. With never more than 4 students per swim class, this intimate setting provides a great environment for children learning to swim. Call to schedule your COMPLIMENTARY in water evaluation and tour today.
Troy 248-845-4545
Sterling Heights 586-844-3633
Novi 248-845-4544
Canton 734-828-2000
Farmington Hills 248-537-4004
Auburn Hills 248-537-4005

Metro Detroit Mommy Writer: