Aspirus Health shares tips for safe swimming

STEVENS POINT, WI (OnFocus) – There is nothing better than cooling off in one of Wisconsin’s lakes; but it’s important to know how to be safe while you’re in and around the water.

“Whether you’re building sandcastles or splashing in the waves at your favorite local beach, it’s important to know basic swimming skills,” said Dr. Robyn Gilbertson, family medicine physician with Aspirus Plover Clinic-Vern Holmes Drive. “It’s crucial to know what to do in a water emergency – including how to help someone in trouble.”

Before you dive in, it’s important to check out these swimming tips:

Learn to swim. Ensure everyone in your family learns to swim well. Enroll in an age-appropriate swimming course. Keep young children and weak swimmers within an arm’s reach.

Use the buddy system. Never swim alone, even at a public pool or a beach that has a lifeguard on duty. Always go with a buddy.

Wear sunscreen. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Be sure to reapply it every two hours and after swimming.

Obey the signs. Water-safety signs and flags are important hazard warnings. They indicate where safety aids or lifeguards are available.

Feet first. What may look like deep water can actually be an illusion, leading you into thinking it’s safe to dive in. Always enter the water feet first to check the depth.

Learn rescue skills. Knowing CPR and basic water skills is important if you need to respond to a water emergency. These skills let you respond without putting yourself at risk. Learning these skills can help save a life.

Check the weather and conditions before leaving home. Swimming and water activities can be dangerous at times. Weather can create strong currents and change the depth and clarity of the water.

“Wisconsin summers are what we dream about all winter,” Dr. Gilbertson said. “No matter how much experience you have in and around the water, it’s always a good idea to play it safe.”

For more information on water safety, visit aspirus.org/water-safety.

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Author: News Desk

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