Swimming is fun and great exercise, but it can be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. According to the Center for Disease Control, there is an average of 10 unintentional drownings every day in the United States. Many of these could have been prevented if the necessary swimming safety equipment was used or in place.
Personal Flotation Device
Personal flotation devices, or life jackets, are the top safety item that should be worn by children and weak swimmers. The U.S. Coast Guard rates life jackets from type 1 to 5 and classifies them as to their uses. Person flotation devices come in three common makes: foam, inflatable and a hybrid of the two. It's important that children wear life jackets at all times when in the water, as it only takes seconds for them to have difficulty swimming and go under water.
Water rescue equipment is important to have if you own a pool or boat. Drowning can occur in seconds, so it is best that you prepare yourself with equipment that will allow you to help someone as quickly as possible. Throw devices or launched devices will allow you to get someone a flotation device when you can't reach him. Throw rings are made of foam and are to be thrown to the troubled swimmer to help him float. Inflatable throw devices can be thrown greater distances to a swimmer and are inflated when the swimmer activates them. Persons that own boats for use on the ocean or large lakes should have a launchable flotation device on hand in case a swimmer gets separated from the boat and cannot be reached.
Swimming pools are the scene of many accidental drownings every year, and it is the law in most states to have a protective pool barrier if you have young children, in order to prevent them from accidental drowning. Pool barriers are either a fence-like barrier that goes around the pool, or a solid cover that goes over the pool. Solid covers are installed on an end of the pool and either manually or automatically rolled out across the pool, making it impossible for people or pets to fall in. A pool fence is installed by having posts installed in segments with a nylon or plastic fence installed in between, making children unable to accidentally get near or in the pool.