9th Grade Swimming
Current Unit: SafetyIn most cases, aquatic emergencies occur when they are least expected. Most people do not realize that a great number of people who drown never intended to go in the water in the first place. The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in, on and around the water is to learn to swim well. It is also important to establish and follow water safety rules.
General Water Safety Tips
Follow these general water safety tips whenever swimming in any body of water (pools, lakes, ponds, quarries, canals, rivers or oceans)
- Swim only in areas supervised by a lifeguard.
- Always swim with a buddy; never swim alone.
- Read and obey all rules and posted signs.
- Only swim in designated areas.
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers take extra precautions, such as wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket, when around the water and staying within arm’s reach of a designated water watcher.
- Designate a responsible individual(s) as the person to watch over children whenever they are in, on or around any body of water, even if a lifeguard is present.
- Watch out for the “dangerous too’s”: too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun and too much strenuous activity.
- Set specific swimming rules for each individual in a family or a group based on swimming ability (for example, inexperienced swimmers should stay in water less than chest deep).
- Make sure swimmers know about the water environment and any potential hazards, such as deep and shallow areas, currents, obstructions and the locations of entry and exit points. The more informed people are, the more aware they will be of hazards as well as safe practices.
- Identify potential water hazards within the community and make certain that children stay away from them.
- Know how to prevent, recognize and respond to emergencies.
- Use a feet first entry when entering the water.
- Enter headfirst only when the area is clearly marked for diving and has no obstructions.
- Do not mix alcohol with boating, swimming or diving. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; impacts the ability to operate watercraft safely; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.
- Take a boating safety course before operating any watercraft.
- Be especially cautious near moving water, cold water and ice.
- Be prepared. Aquatic emergencies happen quickly and suddenly. Whenever possible have a telephone or mobile phone nearby