It’s about that time: the summer is here, and along with it come the excruciatingly hot and humid temperatures of South Georgia. For those that are familiar with these brutal months, two options present surefire ways to beat the heat of local summers: stay inside, or find a nice refreshing pool to cool yourself off.
The water is always a wonderful alternative, and many will take to the comfort and pleasure of aquatics as the heat continues to climb. However, along with entertainment and enjoyment, there should be a tremendous emphasis on personal safety. Before you head out to the deck, make sure that you keep these valuable points in mind.
- Never leave children alone in or near the pool. This goes without saying; water is unforgiving, no matter the age of the swimmer. However, it is more dangerous for children due to the fact that their muscle strength is not as developed as an adult’s. In fact, in order to avoid any potential danger, it is best to swim with a buddy at all times.
- Watch out for extended sun exposure. The hottest times of the day are between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.; if you are going to be outside during time, be sure to take proper precaution. Be sure to wear a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Limit the amount of time that you are in direct sunlight, as too much time can potentially lead to sunburns and dehydration. Also, avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine, as these can contribute to more rapid dehydration.
- Ensure your pool has proper barriers in place. This can help prevent unauthorized access to your home pool. Erect a fence, preferably at least five feet tall, around your pool, and also use a cover for your pool when it is not in use. A pool cover can also serve another purpose; it helps to regulate the water temperature in your pool throughout the day.
- When children are in the pool, use “touch supervision”. What this means is that when a child is engaging in aquatic activities, make sure that there is an adequately trained adult within arm’s reach. In case of a water emergency, every second counts, so it is important that someone is always nearby that can be of assistance.
- Keep safety equipment nearby at all times. Safety items, such as life vests and shepherd’s hooks, are valuable tools to have handy at your pool. It is always better to be safe than sorry, and in the interest of safety, there should be no exceptions. Also, regularly check your safety equipment to be certain that it is in proper working order.
By James Washington
Photography Courtesy of www.allianceforwaterefficiency.org