Granite VNA News
August 7, 2023
Deep Dive into Water Safety
By Valerie Murray, OT
What’s more fun than splashing around in the water whether it be in a pool, river, lake, or the ocean, it’s one of the best ways to celebrate the summer (spring and fall). You can keep the good times rolling by just taking a few extra steps to keep everyone including yourself safe from any harm or injury.
We are so fortunate to be living in the lakes regions. Here we get to experience so many recreational water activities in Lake Winnipesaukee or any small lake. It’s best to be diligent and aware of what you can do to prevent an unnecessary injury or rescue because things happen quickly and you can easily slip, fall, misjudge, and get distracted when we just want to be enjoying a wonderful day in the water.
So here are some recommended safety tips to minimize risks before heading out on the lake:
• Know what’s happening with the weather; unexpected thunderstorms or wind conditions have a big impact on the water.
• Learn to swim; at any age you or your kids can take swim lessons to improve your own swim skills. Also, swim where there are lifeguards.
• Become CPR certified and have the confidence to help others.
• Have a first-aid kit with a tourniquet.
• Swim with a partner and in a designated swim area.
• Wear your USGC approved life jacket when you are in an open body of water when boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, and skiing. Be aware cold water can have a tremendous impact on your ability to swim and having the life jacket will save your life.
• Check to be sure if the water has any contamination warning signs posted; many beaches can be temporarily closed until the water has been properly treated.
• Follow the boating best practices – have a float plan and pre-departure/safety checklist. Make sure someone knows your plan.
• Be aware a drowning can occur in the smallest amount of water and children need to be supervised constantly.
On a personal note, I love being out on the water and have been nearly every day this summer. Going boating, swimming in open water, paddle boarding, barefoot waterskiing, and just hanging out on the breakwater means I am always having to be aware of my environment, and being safe so I can continue to get out another day and love life.
So have fun, enjoy the wonder of water and be safe!