Oh the smell of the lake. Fresh water with a mix of fish and boat exhaust topped off by slightly musty campers or cabins = Life is Good! Is there anything better than jumping into cool lake water on a hot summer day and going swimming, we think not! Unlike a pool, swimming in a lake has it’s share of hazards to remember as you head out to the cove, marina, or houseboat this year because what would ruin a lake weekend more than a preventable accident?
Think Before You Jump
Right below the surface can be a tree stump, sandbar, or debris and that can hurt. Make sure someone wades into the water before anyone jumps in to check that a cannonball can be completed for a perfect “10” without injury.
Never Swim Alone
You remember the buddy system on field trips right? Same applies here for adults and especially kiddos. Always be in tandem watching for each other and those that stay in the boat or on the dock – you’re job is to keep an eye out.
Hold Your Nose
Untreated freshwater can contain some particularly nasty microbes, including the deadly “brain-eating” amoeba Naegleria fowleri, which ruins lake swimming for the season. Simple nose clamps or holding your nose is a good idea because water getting deep into your nasal cavity can make for a bad ride home or far worse.
Why wouldn’t you? Floating is easy on the body because one can wear out quicker than they realize. Are they uncomfortable? Far less uncomfortable than being given CPR by a stranger.
Don’t Be Shocking
Boats and docks all have electricity running through them and ESD (electric shock drowning) is something that happens every year. Think before you jump and try to use a passive electrical detection system (ShockAlarm®) to avoid this danger. Know where the power cut-off switch is located in case of an accident.
Beware of Rip Currents
Rip currents are often found around rocky ledges and formations. These currents can pull a swimmer quickly away from the safe swimming area. Best rip current advice is to take the boat to them and leave these unsafe areas.
CPR Can Save a Life
You’re out there 10, 30, or 60 minutes plus from land and if anything happens CPR may just be the life saver for your lake crew. Be the hero and take a CPR class today (Check with the American Red Cross) or do it with the one you love because who knows, they may save your life.
Why Lake Swimming Safety?
The reality is lakes with or without boats have many potential pitfalls & aren’t the safest places to be swimming. It can be a great time out in nature enjoying the great outdoors and with just a few precautions you can have the time of your life. Don’t forget to #ThinkBeforeYouJump