How to stay safe in waterways this Summer
Summer is here, and there’s no doubt that one of our nation’s favourite ways to beat the heat is with a cool swim at the pool or at the beach! So, how well do you know your water safety rules and guidelines for swimming in these settings?
With countless safety hazards present at coastal beach settings, and with beaches and pools crowded in popularity over the warmer months, it is vital that all swimmers and supervisors have adequate understanding of water safety rules and advice specific to these environments.This knowledge could be the lifesaving factor if you find yourself in a tricky situation, and could prevent injuries, other medical emergencies and drownings.
Australia experienced a fatal drowning rate of 339 people between the beginning of July 2021 and end of June 2022, with a further 686 non-fatal drowning incidents, according to Royal Life Saving Australia. Almost half (43%) of these occurred during the summer months. The beach was the second most common environment where drownings occurred, accountable for 21%, whilst swimming pools were associated with 6.8% of drownings. This highlights the continued need for education of, and attention to, water safety around these settings.
Equip yourself with the following key points for water safety at the pool and beach. It is one thing to know your water safety rules and strategies, but another to practice them – and it’s the practicing that could save a life.
Top water safety tips for both the pool and beach settings:
- Never swim alone, always swim with someone else.
- Read and obey the safety signs or lifeguard and surf life saver instructions.
- Ensure adequate active adult supervision of children and weak or non-swimmers. Visit our Aquatic Supervision web page for more information.
- Speak to a lifeguard if you are unsure of the safety hazards and conditions.
- Avoid swimming after alcohol consumption.
Practice water safety at the beach:
- Swim at patrolled beaches, between the red and yellow flags.
- Check the weather and beach conditions and try to avoid any hazards or dangers.
- Do not enter the water if there is any doubt of safety.
- Wear a bright coloured swimsuit or rashie that is easy to see.
- Decide on an easy to find meeting point if you get lost or separated from your children or friends.
Practice water safety at swimming pools:
- Please remember to walk by the poolside, rather than run.
- Tell a staff member if you are a weak swimmer or non-swimmer, so they can provide you with a special safety wristband for easy identification.
- Take your time entering the swimming pool.
- Raise your hand and call for help if you are struggling to swim.
This summer, remember to play it safe and pay attention to water safety hazards as you enjoy aquatic activities with friends and family. Together, we can help to reduce the rate of drownings in Australia and ensure everyone enjoys a happy and whole summer.