Learn to Swim
Take the time to learn proper swimming techniques and practice before visiting an open body of water. Many communities offer summer recreation classes for children and adults to strengthen their swimming skills. While using rafts or other floating toys may sound like a good idea, these items can carry swimmers out to deep water quickly. An inexperienced swimmer may find himself in a dangerous position if he cannot swim back to shore easily.
Swimming with a friend is an important safety rule for swimming in the event of an emergency. Swimmers can experience muscle cramps and fatigue or sustain injuries from sharp rocks or broken glass in ponds and lakes. A buddy can assist during these events and prevent drowning or call for help.
In the event that an accident does occur, it is important to administer CPR and other first aid as soon as possible. Drowning victims may perish while waiting for paramedics to arrive on the scene. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the chance of survival increases when bystanders have performed CPR before paramedics arrive.
Children should always be supervised by an adult when swimming. According to Safe Kids USA, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of 14. Drowning can happen quickly and silently in as little as one inch of water. Parents or babysitters should avoid distractions such as talking on the phone or reading a magazine to avoid life-threatening accidents.
Limit Alcohol Use
According to the Nemours Foundation, alcohol is a factor in 50 percent of drowning cases involving adolescent males. Additionally, numerous injuries and deaths among other age groups can be attributed to alcohol use. Alcohol can diminish your judgment and increase the risk of injury and drowning. Practice moderation to avoid these risks.