5 Tips for a Safe Iowa Summer on the Water

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Posted by Farl Greene

Image of child swimming

It’s officially swimming season in Iowa.  Area pools and splash pads are open to swimmers and stay busy until the end of summer.  Lakes and rivers are busy with boats and jet skis.

Whether you visit the city pools, visit one of our local beaches, or have a pool at home, there are a few safety tips to remember to keep yourself and your family safe this summer:

  1. It’s never too late to learn how to swim. Most YMCA’s and other community organizations offer swimming lessons for adults.  If you have not yet learned how to swim, consider taking some classes.  They may help you feel safer in the water.
  2. Remember the buddy system. No one should swim alone, especially children.  If you’re not in the water with them, it’s a good idea to be right next to the water, watching closely.  Lifeguards can be a good safety precaution if you’re at a pool, but the first line of defense should always be parents or another designated adult.
  3. Stock and carry a first aid kit. This kit should include: bandages and antibiotic ointment for any cuts or scrapes, scissors to cut hair or a pool cover in case of an emergency, bug repellent, sunscreen, and medications, like aspirin or ibuprofen.
  4. Learn CPR. It’s one of those skills that we hope we’ll never have to use, but could save someone’s life in an emergency.  If someone has drowned, CPR can aid in the chance of survival until the victim can get to a hospital.
  5. Wear life jackets. Children or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life jacket around water.  It’s especially important for everyone to wear them on water that has a current, or anytime you are boating or canoeing.  Look for one that is Coast Guard approved.

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