Millions of us enjoy warm weather every year by swimming in pools, water skiing and boating. However, because water sports and boating are fun and enjoyable, people often don’t think about the risks involved, and as a result, don’t follow basic and necessary safety measures.
Everyone who participates in water sports of any kind should know the basic rules of safety. Follow the guidelines below to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of others, while in or on the water.
- Secure pools with appropriate barriers, keep children under active supervision and ensure that everyone in the home knows how to swim by enrolling them in age-appropriate water orientation and swim courses. Establishing and enforcing firm rules and behaviors, such as ‘no diving’, ‘stay away from drain covers’, ‘swim with a buddy’ and ‘walk please’ is helpful for pool safety.
- While boating it is vital to wear properly fitted life jackets at all times. Boating under the influence of alcohol is just as deadly as drinking and driving. So, play it safe and avoid alcohol when you're on a boat. To avoid CO (carbon monoxide) poisoning, which is emitted by all internal combustion engines, ensure sufficient ventilation, properly install and maintain equipment and use CO detectors, especially in living and sleeping areas of your boat.
- A spotter (someone other than the driver of the boat) should keep an eye at all times on the skier. Always check the towline before each skier skis. It is also important to maintain a reasonable, safe speed at all times and steer clear of docks and away from other boats.
- Also, be sure to carry extra safety supplies and equipment with you when you are boating. The supplies and equipment should be accessible, yet stored safely and securely. These can include extra life jackets, a mobile phone, first aid kit, equipment manual and tools, bottles of water and towels. Ensure you and your passengers are aware of these items and know how to use them properly.
Enjoy the warm weather in Louisiana and stay safe!