Five Tips for Water Safety: May is National Water Safety Month

Kids-don't-Float-2015

Kids Don’t Float Campaign sign at Sacramento County Access on Sherman Island

The American River Parkway Foundation sponsors the Kids Don’t Float Campaign on the Sacramento County waterways. See this previous post.

Last year, in August 2014, a young man in our windsurf association club initiated this project on Sherman Island as part of his Eagle Scout project. Raising the funds to put this sign up and offer free use of life jackets is an important step in the management of water safety along the rivers and lakes.

Water sports abound in this area at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, including windsurfing, kite boarding, fishing, boating, and swimming. A popular beach area that is home to windsurfers and kiters, is also known for attracting a lot of families with young children.

Here are five tips for keeping your family safe on the water this summer.

One: Make sure your children are supervised in and around the water at all times. Supervision translates into YOUR eyes being on your children and focused on that task. Sitting around a swimming pool party drinking, talking or reading is NOT watching your child. It only takes a moment for a child to slip unnoticed under the water. Backyard pool drownings happen right under well-meaning parents’ noses because each parent thought someone else was watching their kids.

Two: Register for swimming lessons. Inexpensive swimming lessons are available at your local recreation center or swimming pool. YMCAs, private clubs and public leisure organizations offer lessons to all age groups.

PFD water safety

Original image by Meiry Heatlie Hayes

Three: Model good leisure behavior to your children. What is this? Get in the water with your kids. Splash, play, have a good time. Show your kids that you can swim. Model your respect for the water. If you can’t swim, sign up for adult lessons. Wear a life jacket when near the water if you are a weak swimmer or on a boat.

Four: Do Not Mix Alcohol with Water Activities. Alcohol impairs your ability to correctly judge the water depth and other conditions. See number three.

Five: Check the water conditions before you enter the water. The Sacramento river can be treacherous in the spring and early summer due to snow melt causing large amounts of water to flow downstream. Dangerous debris can be hidden just below the surface and swimmers have drowned as a result of being swept up and tangled in large tree branches. On hot days, people underestimate how cold the water can be during the month of May. Even seasoned swimmers can become hypothermic (cold) and drown.

Six: Bonus tip–Put a lifejacket on your kids. Be safe. 

May in National Water Safety MonthMAY IS NATIONAL WATER SAFETY MONTHWhat does your community do for water safety education?

The theme is DANGER at Ed’s Sunday Stills weekly photo challenge.

This post is included in Ronovan Writes BeWow on Wednesdays!

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15 thoughts on “Five Tips for Water Safety: May is National Water Safety Month

  1. I almost learned the hard way that kids don’t float, when I was a camp counselor at the age of 14. I was catching the kids off the water slide and putting them at the edge of the pool, where they could hang on and wait for their next turn. I took a kid…probably 6 years old at most… and put him about 3 inches from the edge, assuming it was close enough. It wasn’t, and another counselor realized he was struggling to stay afloat and had to rescue him. Oops.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very important information! I took swimming lessons starting around age 4 and it was a great decision on my parents’ part because I understood the perils (and the fun) of water. Your tips for keeping families safe are spot on…

    The free offering of life jackets available was a great idea by the way!

    PS: on a side note, the sign is written in English, Spanish and Russian..is there a large Russian community there? Or tourists? Interesting… I love languages!

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Hi Terri it’s so nice to meet you! I started with water safety when my kids were little. The memory of toddlers in pools wearing swimpers makes me smile 🙂

    Thanks for linking up to dish the fit! #fitfamlove

    Liked by 1 person

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