12 Water Safety Tips Adults Don’t Follow—but Should (2023)

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    12 Water Safety Tips Adults Don’t Follow—but Should (1)Jenn SinrichUpdated: Jun. 29, 2022

      Drowning ranks fifth among causes of unintentional death in the United States, according to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance—and kids aren't the only victims. Water safety experts share the rules adults need to know.

      12 Water Safety Tips Adults Don’t Follow—but Should (2)Yasser Chalid/Getty Images

      Swimming safety tips

      Water safety tips often cater to parents or kids. However, adults—whether they have kids or not—should follow some water and beach safety rules for their own safety, too. Keep yourself and your friends safe by following these tips from experts.

      12 Water Safety Tips Adults Don’t Follow—but Should (3)LightField Studios/Shutterstock

      Never swim alone

      Even Michael Phelps isn’t immune to this very important rule. “If a lone swimmer suffers any sort of injury while in the water or runs into a perilous situation, he or she may not be able to get help quickly and is at a much greater risk of drowning,” explains Caitlin Hoff, health and safety investigator for ConsumerSafety.org. To prevent an emergency situation, she recommends that swimmers always swim with a buddy ideally in an area with an on-duty lifeguard.

      (Video) 7 Swimming Rules That Will Save Your Life

      12 Water Safety Tips Adults Don’t Follow—but Should (4)Vera Petrunina/Shutterstock

      Designate a “water watcher”

      The most ideal “water watcher” is a certified lifeguard, but they’re not always available—or on call. Medical events or accidents can happen at any time, so at the very least, make sure another adult is present when you, or your children, swim. Chris McCuiston, CEO and founder of Goldfish Swim School recommends designating a “water watcher,” someone who will avoid cell phones, conversations, magazines, and anything else that might distract that adult from keeping an eye on swimmers at all times. “Even though there are many people around, sometimes no one is actually watching the swimmers (especially the younger swimmers!) in the pool,” he says. “Adults can take turns and trade off in this role, but it is one simple and easy tip that we can all use to keep everyone safer in the water.”

      12 Water Safety Tips Adults Don’t Follow—but Should (5)Tropical studio/Shutterstock

      Don’t overestimate your swimming abilities

      This is especially important if you haven’t been in the water for several years or are swimming in a new environment. “Swimming in an ocean, lake, or river can bring additional challenges such as cold temperatures, currents, and underwater hazards, so be sure that you have the skills for these environments,” says Nichole Steffens, Aquatics Product Manager for the American Red Cross. “Most adults are overconfident in their water skills and by the time they feel nervous about the conditions, they are likely already in trouble.”

      12 Water Safety Tips Adults Don’t Follow—but Should (6)Halfpoint/Shutterstock

      It is never too late to learn to swim!

      If you didn’t learn to swim as a child, there’s no time like the present. “We often hear from parents that swim lessons are a priority for their children because they never had the opportunity to learn to swim themselves,” explains McCuiston. “We encourage everyone to invest the time to learn how to swim to protect themselves (and their children) from drowning.” (Read up on these dangerous places to swim.)

      12 Water Safety Tips Adults Don’t Follow—but Should (7)Dasha Petrenko/Shutterstock

      Don’t “drink and dive”

      One of the ways you’re swimming wrong includes drinking and diving. It might be fun and relaxing to enjoy a beach or poolside cocktail once in a while, but be very careful not to overdo it. “Alcohol impairs judgment, balance, and coordination, impacts a person’s ability to operate watercraft safely, affects swimming skills, and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm,” warns Steffens. If you’re going to be drinking while camping out near a body of water, be sure to sober up before taking a dip.

      (Video) Educational video with safety rules in the swimming pool

      12 Water Safety Tips Adults Don’t Follow—but Should (8)Sk Elena/Shutterstock

      Never dive headfirst into an unknown body of water

      If you’re not sure how deep a body of water is—or what may be lying underneath the surface—don’t ever jump into it. “Diving head first into a shallow or rocky area can result in serious spinal cord injuries,” says Hoff. “By taking the smallest precautions and walking into the water feet first, you can protect your body from serious physical damage.”

      12 Water Safety Tips Adults Don’t Follow—but Should (9)amfroey/Shutterstock

      Wear a life jacket while boating

      Many adults assume that life jackets are only for people or pets who don’t know how to swim, but this is far from the truth. “Even the strongest swimmers have been saved by life jackets when a boat has capsized or they get caught in a rip current,” explains Elizabeth Malson, Certified Emergency First Responder Instructor, PADI Master Scuba Diver Training, President of Amslee Institute and teacher of their Water Awareness Course. “Per U.S. Coast Guard rules, all children under the age of 13 on moving boats are required to wear an approved life jacket.” (Know how to save your life in 12 scary emergencies.)

      12 Water Safety Tips Adults Don’t Follow—but Should (10)Iakov Kalinin/Shutterstock

      Swim in designated areas

      If there’s a swimming section roped off at the lake or pool, use it. “Often, public swimming areas, natural and manmade, have designated swimming areas that are free of boat traffic and have been cleared of underwater hazards,” says Malorie Thompson, certified water safety instructor. “In addition, designated swim areas are usually free of swift currents and often have lifeguards present.” If you’re not sure which areas of a body of water are safe for a swim, ask around. “Local visitor centers often have information on the best places to safely swim, or who to contact for further information on swimming conditions.

      Become CPR-trained

      There are many reasons to become CPR certified, and number one is to protect yourself and your loved ones from drowning. Taking a class makes you more prepared. “The Red Cross offers water safety and CPR/AED training to help prepare adults to prevent and respond to emergencies,” says Steffens. Visit redcross.org/takeaclass to find a class in your community, and check out how to use an AED, including a story about how bystanders used as AED to save a college student’s life.

      (Video) How To Rescue Someone From Drowning - Baywatch VS Real Life

      Limit sun exposure

      We’ve all lost track of time and come home with a sunburn, but don’t forget that you’re more susceptible when you’re near a body of water. “The water can reflect additional rays onto your skin so it’s vital to wear sunscreen and reapply it every 60 to 90 minutes,” says Malson. Wearing hats, polarized sunglasses, and rash guards can limit sun damage, as can staying out of the sun when rays are the strongest—between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

      12 Water Safety Tips Adults Don’t Follow—but Should (12)Denise Lett/Shutterstock

      Respect the rules

      “Rules are created from lessons learned, so don’t dive in shallow areas of the pool or jump off a river bank without knowing the depth and safety of the water below,” says Malson. “Mind flag warnings at the beach and stay out of the water if rip currents are present.” She also recommends wearing a helmet when jet skiing and following all coast guard rules for boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, and participating in other water sports.

      12 Water Safety Tips Adults Don’t Follow—but Should (13)Solis Images/Shutterstock

      Create an emergency plan and training

      When going to a new water destination, Malson suggests taking a few minutes and talk through an emergency plan. Where will you meet up if you get separated? Are there landline phones or cell phone service to call for help if needed? Who is in charge of watching children? “No one wants to experience an emergency but being prepared can save lives,” she says. “Take an emergency first aid and CPR class so that you are prepared to help if needed.”

      (Video) Kids' Water Safety | Thursday Pools


      Originally Published: July 26, 2018

      12 Water Safety Tips Adults Don’t Follow—but Should (14)

      Jenn Sinrich

      Jenn Sinrich is an experienced digital and social editor in New York City. She's written for several publications including SELF, Women's Health, Fitness, Parents, American Baby, Ladies' Home Journal and more.She covers various topics from health, fitness and food to pregnancy and parenting. In addition to writing, Jenn also volunteers with Ed2010, serving as the deputy director to Ed's Buddy System, a program that pairs recent graduates with young editors to give them a guide to the publishing industry and to navigating New York.When she's not busy writing, editing or reading, she's enjoying and discovering the city she's always dreamed of living in with her loving fiancé, Dan, and two feline friends, Janis and Jimi. Visit her website: Jenn Sinrich.

      (Video) 100 Kids vs 1 Pro


      What are the water safety rules for adults? ›

      Never swim alone; swim with lifeguards and/or water watchers present. Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket appropriate for your weight and size and the water activity. Always wear a life jacket while boating, regardless of swimming skill. Swim sober.

      What are the things we should not do in water? ›

      20 Things You Should Never Do Around Water
      • 1/20. Photo by Twenty20. Use Electricity. ...
      • 2/20. Photo by Twenty20. Pretend to Drown. ...
      • 3/20. Photo by Twenty20. Get Drunk. ...
      • 4/20. Photo by Twenty20. Boat Solo. ...
      • 5/20. Photo by Twenty20. Horse Play. ...
      • 6/20. Photo by Twenty20. Leave Children Unattended. ...
      • 7/20. Photo by Twenty20. Nap. ...
      • 8/20. Photo by Twenty20.
      Jul 9, 2018

      What are 3 ways to stay safe while swimming? ›

      Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Provide close and constant attention to children you are supervising, even when a lifeguard is present, no matter how well the child can swim or how shallow the water. Avoid distractions including cell phones.

      What is the golden rule in swimming? ›

      Buddy up! Always swim with a partner, every time — whether you're swimming in a backyard pool or in a lake.

      What is the most important rule for safe swimming? ›

      Never Swim Alone: The first and most important rule for water safety. Use the buddy system—always. If swimming with small children, ensure they are always within arm's reach.

      What are safety rules? ›

      Definition. A principle or regulation governing actions, procedures or devices intended to lower the occurrence or risk of injury, loss and danger to persons, property or the environment.

      How do we keep water safe? ›

      Easy Things You Can Do To Protect Drinking Water Sources
      1. Properly dispose of hazardous products. ...
      2. Use and dispose of harmful materials properly. ...
      3. Volunteer in your community. ...
      4. Join in a beach, stream or wetland cleanup. ...
      5. Prepare a presentation about your watershed for a school or civic organization.
      Mar 14, 2023

      What is the greatest risk to water safety? ›

      Microbial contamination of drinking-water as a result of contamination with faeces poses the greatest risk to drinking-water safety.

      What are 5 things humans do to harm the water supplies? ›

      Below, we will focus on seven of the major ways that water can become polluted.
      • Industrial Waste. Industries and industrial sites across the world are a major contributor to water pollution. ...
      • Marine Dumping. ...
      • Sewage and Wastewater. ...
      • Oil Leaks and Spills. ...
      • Agriculture. ...
      • Global Warming. ...
      • Radioactive Waste.
      Sep 9, 2019

      What should we avoid to save water? ›

      Tips for Conserving Water
      • Never use your toilet as a waste basket.
      • Do not let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth.
      • Take short showers instead of tub baths. ...
      • If you must use a tub, close the drain before turning on the water and fill the tub only half full.
      Feb 12, 2020

      What are 5 things that can contaminate water? ›

      Among the top contaminants in your drinking water are nitrates, bacteria and viruses, arsenic, fluoride, and lead. Learn how these make their way to your office tap water, the side effects they can cause, and the processes that are effective in filtering them out.

      What not to do before swimming? ›

      Make sure that you DON'T: Eat a lot before swimming – Having a large meal before entering the swimming pool will make you feel heavy in water while also seeing you tire quicker, making your swimming session last shorter than it should.

      What are the 5 safety precautions to follow in swimming? ›

      Safe Swimming
      • Get a sports physical before starting any new sport.
      • Always warm up and stretch before swimming.
      • Take time off from training if they feel shoulder, neck, or other pain. ...
      • Wear water-resistant sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater for outdoor practices and meets.
      • Check that the pool is deep enough before diving.

      What not to do after swimming? ›

      Do not lie in the sun to dry yourself. Lying on a chair by the poolside or beachside with a drink in hand may look glamorous, but is not advisable after a swim. If you have any ideas of drying yourself off just by lying on a deck chair, think again.

      What is the 3rd law of swimming? ›

      It states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When a person swims, he pushes the water backward and the water, in turn, pushes the person with an equal force in the forward direction.

      What is the 25 10 pool rule? ›

      Swim safety tip: Follow a 25:10 rule. If children cannot swim 25 meters continuously without assistance, ensure an adult is within 10 feet at all times.

      What is the never swim alone rule? ›

      Never swim alone

      If a lone swimmer suffers any sort of injury while in the water or runs into a perilous situation, he or she may not be able to get help quickly and is at a much greater risk of drowning,” explains Caitlin Hoff, health and safety investigator for ConsumerSafety.org.

      What is the swimming rule of a? ›

      According to Ampere's swimming rule, imagine a person swimming with his face downwards looking at the magnetic needle, such that the current enters from his feet (S) and leaves from his head (N), then the N-pole of the magnetic needle will get deflected towards his left hand. Q.

      What is the swimming hand rule? ›

      Answer : If a swimmer swims in the current direction while facing a magnetic needle, the north pole of the magnetic field deflects towards his left hand and the south pole towards his right hand, according to Ampere's swimming rule. The word 'SNOW' can also help remember this guideline.

      What are some pool rules? ›

      8 Basic Swimming Pool Rules for Every Community to Follow
      • No running. ...
      • No diving. ...
      • Supervise kids. ...
      • Toddlers must wear swim diapers. ...
      • No more than # swimmers at a time. ...
      • Limit of # guests per resident. ...
      • No animals in the pool. ...
      • No glass bottles.
      Jul 1, 2022

      What are the 7 basic safety rules? ›

      Basic Safety Rules
      • Always wear your seatbelt when in a vehicle or heavy equipment. ...
      • Always inspect equipment and tools. ...
      • Always use fall protection when working at heights. ...
      • Stay of out the blind spots of heavy equipment. ...
      • Never put yourself in the line of fire. ...
      • Utilize proper housekeeping measures to keep work areas clean.
      Nov 22, 2019

      What are 20 general safety rules? ›

      20 most important safety rules in the workplace
      • Follow the dress code. ...
      • Wear safety gear. ...
      • Maintain personal hygiene. ...
      • Take responsibility for your personal safety. ...
      • Maintain a clean workspace. ...
      • Follow work procedures. ...
      • Learn how to act in an emergency. ...
      • Report accidents if they occur.
      Mar 10, 2023

      What are top 5 safety rules? ›

      The Basics of Safety
      • STAY ALERT - and stay alive. ...
      • WEAR THE RIGHT CLOTHES - work clothes should fit properly. ...
      • USE THE RIGHT TOOLS - if you need a hammer, get a hammer. ...
      • LEARN HOW TO LIFT - Lifting takes more than muscle; it is an art.

      What are the seven ways to protect water? ›

      Water Conservation Tips
      • TIP #1 - WATER LAWNS JUST 1-2 TIMES A WEEK. ...
      • TIP #5 - TAKE SHORTER SHOWERS. ...
      Jun 24, 2020

      What is the best way to purify water? ›

      Boiling is the best way to kill disease-causing organisms, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites. The high temperature and time spent boiling are very important to effectively kill the organisms in the water. Boiling will also effectively treat water if it is still cloudy or murky.

      What are 10 ways to reduce water pollution? ›

      Ways to Prevent Water Pollution
      • Pick up litter and throw it away in a garbage can.
      • Blow or sweep fertilizer back onto the grass if it gets onto paved areas. ...
      • Mulch or compost grass or yard waste. ...
      • Wash your car or outdoor equipment where it can flow to a gravel or grassy area instead of a street.
      Jan 18, 2023

      What are water hazards? ›

      Water hazards come in many forms from flooding, storm surges, hurricanes/typhoons, heavy rainstorms (deluges), coastal erosion, tsunamis/storm waves. In all cases, the damage can be devastating.

      What are water risks? ›

      “Water risk” refers to the possibility of an entity experiencing a water-related challenge (e.g., water scarcity, water stress, flooding, infrastructure decay, drought). The extent of risk is a function of the likelihood of a specific challenge occurring and the severity of the challenge's impact.

      What are three dangers of water? ›

      The dangers of water include:
      • very cold temperatures - the water can be colder than expected, even in warm weather.
      • hidden currents - there can be strong underwater currents, which can trouble even the most confident of swimmers.
      Apr 7, 2023

      What are 10 human activities that affect the water? ›

      Urban and industrial development, farming, mining, combustion of fossil fuels, stream-channel alteration, animal-feeding operations, and other human activities can change the quality of natural waters.

      What are three threats to water? ›

      Our water resources face a host of serious threats, all of which are caused primarily by human activity. They include sedimentation, pollution, climate change, deforestation, landscape changes, and urban growth.

      What are 50 ways to save water? ›

      Water conservation can go a long way to help alleviate these impending shortages.
      • Check your toilet for leaks. ...
      • Stop using your toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. ...
      • Put a plastic bottle in your toilet tank. ...
      • Take shorter showers. ...
      • Install water-saving shower heads or flow restrictors. ...
      • Take baths.

      What are 20 ways to save water? ›

      20 Ways to Save Water
      • Use a displacement device (a water-filled bottle) in the toilet tank to reduce the amount of water required to flush.
      • Use toilet only for its intended purpose. ...
      • Repair leaky taps or toilets immediately. ...
      • Consider a small capacity toilet when replacing an old one.
      • Take shorter showers.

      What uses the most water in a house? ›

      The largest use of household water is to flush the toilet, followed by taking showers and baths. Toilets account for nearly 30 percent of an average home's indoor water consumption.

      What are 6 common water pollutants? ›

      The main water pollutants include bacteria, viruses, parasites, fertilisers, pesticides, pharmaceutical products, nitrates, phosphates, plastics, faecal waste and even radioactive substances.

      What are the 6 most common water contaminants? ›

      2,7 Microbial contaminants, lead, nitrates and nitrites, arsenic, disinfection byproducts, pesticides, and solvents are among the contaminants for which EPA has set health-based standards.

      What are the 3 most common contaminants in water? ›

      The Five Most Common Contaminants Found in Drinking Water
      • Nitrates. ...
      • Arsenic. ...
      • Microorganisms, Bacteria, and Viruses. ...
      • Aluminum. ...
      • Fluoride. ...
      • What Can Be Done About Contaminants in Tap Water? ...
      • Frequently Asked Questions.
      Apr 19, 2019

      What time is bad for swimming? ›

      You're not shaded when submerged; instead, water can magnify rays, making swimming outdoors at midday a skin cancer risk. Take your dip before 10 A.M. or after 4 P.M. if you can, and block up.

      Do you really need to shower after swimming? ›

      Make sure to rinse your hair and wash your swimsuit after you swim. Showering after you swim will keep your skin from becoming dry. You don't have to worry about picking up a germ, and you'll get rid of that chlorine smell. It only takes a few minutes to shower, so make sure you make it a priority.

      When should you avoid swimming? ›

      A broken bone (water and casts are generally not a good mix, although there are options out there), a deep cut or wound and bad burns (to name a few) are reasons to stay home, rest and recuperate.

      Why is safety important in swimming? ›

      Knowledge of swimming and water safety can reduce a child's drowning risk and provide them with skills that may one day save a life.

      What is one safety precaution you should take at a water park? ›

      Walk, don't run — It's a water park and the ground can be slick. Wear water shoes, if possible, not only for traction, but to help keep feet safe from injuries and even infections. Avoid flip-flops. You must be this tall to ride — Pay attention to size restrictions on rides and slides.

      How do you clean yourself after swimming? ›

      To slough off dead skin cells that are soaked with chlorine, exfoliate with loofa gloves or a mild pumice scrub after you swim. After your shower, dry off with a clean towel and apply a layer of lotion to your skin.

      Why do I feel like peeing after swimming? ›

      Water Pressure

      As you submerge in water, hydrostatic pressure drives up your blood pressure a bit, enough to trigger your kidneys to respond by stepping up their filtration game and increase urine output.

      How do you clean your body after swimming? ›

      Simply showering with soap and shampoo after you get of the pool will go a long way, too, toward getting most of the chlorine out. You can also mix a small bit of Vitamin C crystals with your body wash or shampoo to create your own swim shampoo and wash.

      What is the most important rule for child safety around water? ›

      Top Tips. Watch kids when they are in or around water, without being distracted. Young children can drown in as little as one inch of water, so it's important to keep them within an arm's reach of an adult. Empty tubs, buckets, containers and kids' pools immediately after use.

      What are the 5 components in the circle of drowning prevention? ›

      The steps of the chain are: Prevent drowning, Recognise distress, Provide flotation, Remove from water, and Provide care as needed. The International Lifesaving Federation recommends that the Drowning Chain of Survival be used for general guidance to all involved in preventing or taking action in a drowning incident.

      What are the four parts of the water safety? ›

      Spot the danger
      • Check for hazards.
      • Consider what could be hidden under the water.
      • Stay well back from the edge.
      Aug 9, 2019

      What are water safety concerns? ›

      Watch Out for Water Safety

      Types of water-related hazards that may result include mold, Legionella (the cause of Legionnaires' disease), and contamination with metals from corroded plumbing, such as lead and copper.

      What are some strategies to have a safer time when around the water? ›

      These are our top 5 tips to enjoy the water safely:
      • Always supervise children around water.
      • Avoid alcohol around water.
      • Wear a lifejacket when boating and fishing.
      • Avoid going alone.
      • Know the conditions.

      What is the single most important thing to prevent drowning? ›

      There are many actions to prevent drowning. Installing barriers (e.g. covering wells, using doorway barriers and playpens, fencing swimming pools etc.) to control access to water hazards, or removing water hazards entirely greatly reduces water hazard exposure and risk.

      What are the 10 stages of drowning? ›

      The events that result in drowning can be divided into the following sequence: (i) struggle to keep the airway clear of the water, (ii) initial submersion and breath-holding, (iii) aspiration of water, (iv) unconsciousness, (v) cardio-respiratory arrest and (vi) death – inability to revive.

      What dangers do I need to be aware of when in and around water? ›

      there may be hidden debris or underwater hazards which can cause injury, including weeds and plants which can entangle people under the water. if it's polluted it could make you ill. it can be very difficult to get out (especially steep slimy banks) there are no lifeguards on duty.

      What is water safety and survival? ›

      Water safety refers to the procedures, precautions and policies associated with safety in, on, and around bodies of water, where there is a risk of injury or drowning. It has applications in several occupations, sports and recreational activities.


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