As a swim parent, you're probably aware the risks that pools may pose to children, but you also know how to keep them safe. Have you thought, however, about your own skills in the water? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the fifth-leading cause of accidental death among children and adults in the United States.
According to the CDC, the following factors can increase drowning risk among adults:
- Alcohol use – Among teens and adults, alcohol use can be blamed for nearly 70 percent of water-related deaths. Drinking can impair your judgment and coordination – things that you definitely need if you are anywhere near a pool or body of water.
- Lack of swimming skills – Many adults do not know how to swim, but having that ability can get them out of most treacherous situations in the water. Formal swimming lessons are available at most public pools and are very affordable.
- Not wearing a life jacket - Wearing these safety devices is a must whenever you are out on a jet ski or boat. You may not want to cover up your cute bikini or quirky Dolfin Uglies suit, but it's best to show off your attire once you're back on land.
So what can you do to stay safe? If you don't know how already, learn to swim. It's the single most important step you can take to prevent water-related injuries. After that, use proper pool etiquette and check water and weather conditions in advance if you plan on doing any open water swimming.