Get Ready To Swim
As winter begins to fade from the rear view mirror and temperatures begin to rise, swimmers, lifeguards, and outdoor enthusiasts begin to make their plans for another season of blissful summer fun.
Make sure you make the most of forthcoming warm weather by taking the proper precautions, whether you are swimming, sunbathing, or just hanging out in hot weather.
Limiting Heat & Sun Exposure
One in every five Americans develops skin cancer during their lifetime. Skin cancer’s most preventable cause is exposure to ultraviolet radiation found in the normal spectrum of sunlight. Ultraviolet radiation causes sunburn, premature aging of the skin, and skin cancer.
Preventing Skin Cancer
To minimize exposure to UV light and reduce your risk of developing skin cancer:
- Seek shade whenever possible, especially during midday.
- Reduce exposure to the sun by choosing clothes that cover arms and legs.
- Wear wide brim hats to shade your head and neck.
- Wear sunscreen with a minimum 5 SPF.
Overheating & Heat Stroke
Overexposure to heat can lead to overheating and heat stroke. Higher humidity reduces the body’s ability to dispel heat through evaporation. Heat illnesses can be very serious, and can ultimately lead to dehydration, confusion, and even death in extreme cases.
Preventing Heat Illness
The chances of developing heat illness can be reduced by taking the following precautions:
- Wear loose clothing made from lightweight materials to allow bodily ventilation and perspiration.
- Avoid strenuous exercise during hotter daylight hours.
- Wear light colored clothing to reflect light, as darker fabric easily absorbs heat without reflecting it away from the body.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
The Tools Of The Trade:
- Water Shirts: help block the sun and fit closely to allow freedom of movement in the water.
- Tech shirts: technical fabrics wick away moisture and ventilate easily to cool the body.
Remember to eat properly and drink plenty of water during the warmer months.
Improper nutrition can cause exhaustion, dizziness, and cramping.
Take the time to fuel your body before starting your activities – and bring snacks and water to keep the good times rolling.
Staying Safe In The Water
An average of ten people die from unintentional drowning every day. Every fifth drowning claims the life of a child aged 14 or younger.
Follow these tips to help stay safe in the water:
- Keep Watch: Pay close attention to children or less confident swimmers when in or around water, remaining within reach at all times.
- Swim With A Friend: Use the buddy system by making sure to swim with a partner.
- Lifeguards: Whenever possible, choose swimming areas that are under lifeguard supervision.
- Life Jackets: Don’t use a toy in place of a life jacket. Rafts, water wings, and noodles aren’t designed for safety!
- Drinking Alcohol: Don’t drink alcohol while swimming or supervising other swimmers.
Learn To Swim!
Adults and children alike should have formal swimming lessons to provide added protection from drowning. Never substitute swim lessons for supervision. But remember, all young and less confident swimmers should be closely supervised even if they know how to swim.