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Water Safety Tips for a Lake or Ocean

Water Safety Tips for a Lake or Ocean

With summer just around the corner, countless families will flock to nearby lakes or beaches for vacation. Many of those families will have children with them, and it can be hard to determine whether it is safe for them to venture in the water. Water in lakes or oceans is much different than water in a pool, and we will be talking about some ways to ensure safety, while also making sure your vacation is fun!

If you or your child are not confident in the water, make sure you or they are accompanied by a strong swimmer who can help you in the event that something were to happen.

Most of the time, the water in lakes or oceans is not as clear as in a pool, so you can’t even see the bottom! It can be hard to judge how deep the water is, so it is best so walk slowly and safely when unsure of the depth of the water. If possible, an adult should wade in the water before the children so you have an idea of what to expect. Sometimes, the bottom of the lake or ocean is not gradual, and can drop off quickly. It is best to always stay in area where your feet can touch the bottom

If you are swimming in a saltwater lake or ocean, the salt can also come as a surprise! A wave might come along unexpectedly and hit your face. That happens to me ALL. THE. TIME. I always find myself with salt water in my mouth and it is not a pleasant feeling. It can definitely be a bit uncomfortable because the salt will make you cough and it can make you tired faster!

Ocean Safety

ocean water safety tips

The ocean can be unexpected, and big waves can come without any warning! It is important to make sure you take a look at how rough the ocean is before allowing your child to swim. Also, waves often do not come into shore straight, they are usually at an angle! As you or your child are swimming in the water, you will probably not end up where you entered the water. It is important to keep track of where you are on the beach to keep yourself safe.

Do not Depend on Lifeguards

Sometimes, there are lifeguards on the beach, but a lot of times there are not. Even when there are lifeguards around, they have so many people to keep an eye on at the same time. It is important to always watch your child if they are near the ocean, whether they are just playing in the waves or actually swimming. If you have multiple children, try to keep them in the same area so it is easier for you to make sure they are safe.

Beware of Rip Tides

ocean water safety - rip tides

It is important to make sure your children stay close to the shore when they are in large bodies of water, I always tell my kids to make sure their feet can touch the bottom. A hidden danger of the ocean are the rip tides. A rip tide is the dangerous undertow of the water that pulls it back out to sea. If you find yourself being pulled out farther and farther away from the shore, try to swim the opposite way that the waves are coming in. So for example, if the waves are coming in to the left, make sure you are swimming to the right. If this happens and you find yourself getting tired, try to wave your hands around to get somebody’s attention, and they can come help you. Rip tides can have an effect on strong swimmers too, so just be sure you are extremely careful regardless of your swimming ability.

Use Life Jackets

water-safety wear your safety vest

If you are on a boat at the lake or ocean, make sure to always remember to wear your life jacket. It is even more important to make sure that your life jacket fits your body. If the life jacket is too big, it may fall off your body and then it wouldn’t do you any good! Life jackets provide more buoyancy than floaties or inner tubes, so whenever possible, make sure you use a life jacket to keep you or your child safe in large bodies of water.

Lake Safety

Lakes can have unexpected drop-offs in the sand. It can be really hard to judge how deep the water is, so make sure you are walking slowly when walking into the water. Since you probably cannot see the bottom of the lake, be careful where you step! Lakes are filled with sharp rocks and other objects. It is important to pay attention to where you are stepping before you bear your full weight down.

Never Swim Alone

water-safety tips - buddy system never swim alone!

In any body of water, whether it be a pool, lake, or ocean, make sure you are never swimming alone, especially if you are not a confident swimmer. Make sure children are always accompanied and do not allow them to venture into the lake or ocean by themselves. Waves can be unexpected, surprising, and frightening for those who are not strong swimmers, so it is important to always pay attention to what is going on around you.

Enroll in Swimming Lessons

As a way to prepare for upcoming vacations, swimming lessons are a must! Bring the swim school to your pool today with a Sunstional Swim Instructor and that will take one less worry off your plate for vacation planning.


Olivia Darr’s bio:

Swim Instructor in Columbia, SC

Hi! My name is Olivia and I've been teaching swimming lessons for over two years now. I've worked with children for a number of years. My experience includes: Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the swim team I coach for. I just graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in August 2018 with a degree in communications and marketing. I love teaching swimming because I love helping kids become comfortable in the water and helping them become more confident!

Call Us at 1-888-788-2140 to book your Swimming Lessons Today

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