Swimming at a public pool should be a safe and fun experience for the young and old. When possible, choose to swim in an area that is supervised by a trained and certified lifeguard.
Small children need to be supervised at all time while swimming to ensure their safety. The number of drownings in public pools, private pools and at beaches is staggering. Consider buying a lifejacket or personal flotation device for small children who will be around the water and don’t take your eyes off them for even a moment.
Shallow pool areas are often marked at public pools and beaches to allow people who either cannot swim or who do not have strong swimming skills to see where it is safe to swim. Many children want to swim in the ‘deep’ end but should be closely supervised at all times. A lifeguard may be present but caution should still be taken to ensure that everyone in the swimming area is safe at all times. If you feel unwell, do not swim. If you get a cramp, slowly make your way to a safe place.
Swimming lessons are available at many public pools in many towns. Safety tips are given to new swimmers as they are taught technique for swimming and water survival. These courses can be started even for infants in programs referred to as ‘Water Babies’ or Toddler swims. Many methods are taught to help the child become adept at swimming and most areas have a color-coded graduate system whereby each level earns the student a new color or badge to show that they have completed the necessary training in swimming for a particular level. Swimming lessons teach kids confidence and strong skills as well as important water safety tips.
Rough play can be a dangerous thing at public pools or beaches. Swimming should be a safe and enjoyable sport and accidental drownings can occur with too much roughhousing in the water due to the distraction to the lifeguard on duty.
When you are swimming in an area for the first time, never dive straight in. Get to know if the area you’re swimming in has obstructions such as rocks. Don’t swim in poor weather particularly thunderstorms, as your risk of electrocution is extremely high in the water. Finally, when in a public pool or beach, pay attention to what’s going on around you and ensure other swimmers are practicing safety as well.