Summertime in the Inland Northwest can be hot, and this year is no exception! As you try to cool off this summer by enjoying activities on or near the water, please follow these simple water safety tips.
ABOVE THE WATER
- Don’t get too much sun – Sunburn makes it harder for your body to stay cool.
- Limit your time in the sun, especially mid-day when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest.
- Water and sand reflect sunlight, making the sun’s UV rays more intense.
- Liberally apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Wear sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
- Use lip balm with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Stay hydrated! Swimming, kayaking, rafting, SUP, canoeing and other watersports can be quite strenuous, resulting in greater fluid loss.
- Pre-hydrate before you get on the water.
- While it can be difficult to drink when your hands are holding a paddle, consider using a hydration system.
- Another solution, take frequent breaks (every 15-20 minutes) to drink up and stay hydrated.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol; they can cause you to become dehydrated.
ON THE WATER
- Learn CPR. Keep rescue equipment and a telephone close by.
- Learn to swim. Teach your children to swim.
- Be sure that your child wears a properly fitting life jacket or personal floatation device (PFD) when on or near water.
- Obey life jacket/PFD legal requirements when on rivers or lakes.
- Know the weather forecast and keep an eye on changing conditions.
- Have a buddy – don’t swim, float, or boat alone.
UNDER THE WATER
- Swim in supervised areas only and follow all signs and warnings.
- Don’t dive into shallow water. There might be submerged rocks, trees, or other hazards.
- If you fall into fast-moving water, do not try to stand up. The force of the water may push you over and hold you under. Lay on your back with your feet pointing downstream and toes pointing up toward the surface.
- Stay alert to currents. They can change quickly.
Enjoy the summer while staying safe on the water!