How Can I Stay Safe (and Cool) at the Pool This Summer?
On a balmy summer day, taking a dip in a cool, blue pool may be your oasis-in-a-desert type of moment, offering you relief from the hot sun. Before you dive in, however, make sure you have measures in place to keep you and your family safe. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are an estimated 3,960 fatal drownings and 8,080 nonfatal drownings in the United States every year. Enforcing poolside safety measures can certainly save you and your family from any emergency room visits, so consider implementing the following tips into your poolside regimen as your summer fun starts to ramp up.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
While some people may forget to drink their eight cups of water a day, it’s important to get every last drop, especially during the humid summer months. Symptoms of dehydration and heat stroke go hand in hand and may manifest in the form of headaches, dizziness and cramps. If 64 ounces of water seems too daunting and you’d rather get your hydration another way, watermelon is chock-full of water and nutrients; freezing a few slices of watermelon is an easy and delicious life hack to stay healthy and hydrated amid the heat.
Take extra steps to protect yourself from the sun.
Did you know that ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause changes to skin texture and cause spidery, red blood vessels—called telangiectasias—to become visible on your skin? Not to mention the ever-dreaded sunburns, which could easily warrant an ER visit if they reach second- or third-degree levels. Sunscreen, of course, is the simplest way to give your skin protection, or if you opt to stay poolside, sunglasses and a hat are two other sun-safety options. Heat permitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants are a foolproof way to keep skin protected on even the sunniest of days.
Avoid alcohol, especially if you’re taking a dip.
Sipping on a fruity drink while lazing on a pool float sounds nice in theory, but the CDC states that up to 70% of water-related deaths in adults and adolescents are related to alcohol use. Drink in moderation, especially when you’re around the water. Even if you don’t drown, you could still end up in the ER due to any potential injuries; in adults, 1 in 4 ER drowning cases involve alcohol use. Swapping an alcoholic seltzer for a non-alcoholic carbonated beverage can be just as satisfying!
Don’t forget to keep an eye on the kids.
Fatal drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death in children ages one to 14 years old. Don’t underestimate the power of swimming lessons! A plunge in the pool sounds just as ideal to kids on a hot summer day, so to avoid any accidents, it’s important to have an adult nearby; don’t depend on foam noodles or a unicorn pool float as the primary safety devices in your pool.
To keep you and your family out of the ER this summer when taking a dip in the pool or a swim in a lake, stay vigilant and be aware of your surroundings. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, especially in the water, so keeping an eye out—and packing extra snacks and water bottles—can surely help you and your family be prepared for any shenanigans this summer throws your way.
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