We all love to swim. Swimming is a great way to get exercise and stay fit. While it might not make you swole, it will definitely burn some calories and is great for prehab, rehab, and recovery days. Today, our Australian correspondent wants to issue this PSA (Public Swole Announcement?) about keeping your pool safe during the upcoming Aussie summer.
The summer season, which takes place from December to February, will be upon Australia very soon. And it’s hard to think of a better way to welcome summer and to beat the country’s notorious heat than by taking a refreshing dip in the pool. Sensibility may be well out the window when it’s time to dive, splash around, and have fun by the poolside.
But if one is not as careful as they should be, something dangerous might happen in the water or in near proximity to it. From 2017 to 2018, the Royal Life Saving Drowning Report recorded 249 drowning-related deaths and 551 hospitalizations due to non-fatal drowning incidents in Australia. Although this is a 14% decrease from the figures tallied in the previous year, it serves as a call for Australians to be extra mindful of their environment when it’s time to go swimming.
To make sure that your fellow swimmers remain safe, healthy, and happy when they come by your home for a dip, do observe the following health and safety tips at the poolside.
- Everyone who swims has to remember the rules. Regardless of age and ability to swim, everyone who enters the pool has to abide by your safety rules. Let everyone know that no rough play should be allowed, that no one should run along wet and slip-prone areas of the pool, that very young or novice swimmers shouldn’t venture into the deep end of the pool without a flotation device, and that no one should be near the pool in the event of a sudden rainstorm.
- Don’t let children, elderlies, or new swimmers into the pool unsupervised. Make sure that everyone has a swimming buddy, preferably an adult who is a capable swimmer and who knows first aid techniques like CPR. This guarantees that they’ll have access to immediate help in case they get injured, show signs of drowning, or suffer a stroke or cardiac arrest while they’re swimming.
- Keep life-saving equipment near the pool. Having several pieces of buoyant, life-saving equipment nearby will also contribute to the overall safety of swimmers. Keep a life-preserver, rope, life vests, pool noodles, and kickboards in the vicinity of the pool, and let swimmers know where they can access these in case they have need of them.
- Keep the pool water clean. Everyone must shower before entering the pool, and take pee breaks in the bathroom when needed. Grossed out by the idea of urine and fecal matter in your pool water? You are right to feel that way because if your pool water isn’t clean, it could very well be a carrier of pathogens that cause waterborne diseases like diarrhea and swimmer’s ear, as well as skin infections. That’s why you should emphasize the value of showering before coming into the pool, and getting out to take pee breaks instead of peeing in the water.
- Say no to swimming with alcohol in your system. Drinking alcohol before swimming should be an absolute no-no among adults. As per the Sydney Morning Herald (2016), almost half of the drowning incidents recorded in Australia’s inland waterways were due to alcohol intake and reckless, intoxicated behavior while in the water. Keep the same tragedies from occurring in your pool, and reserve the cocktails for when everyone’s finished swimming and is safely on dry land or indoors.
- Refurbish your pool walls, tiles, and metal supports as needed. Do take the initiative to maintain your pool, no matter what season it is. If you notice that tiles are significantly worn down or damaged, you may want to get them repaired. You may also want to check your metal supports and pool ladders if they are collecting rust. This is to prevent slippage and injuries like cuts and fractures, as well as to keep your pool in tip-top condition.
If you tick off on all of these, then your pool will remain the life of the party—and not the site of any life-threatening emergencies. Go out, have fun, and keep a watchful eye out in the middle of the summer sun.