Keep yourself and everyone else safe while swimming this season. This includes two major categories: drowning prevention and water-borne illness.

Starting with preventing the spread of water-borne illness, all individuals should shower before entering a swimming pool. Wash children under four in the diaper area prior to allowing them into a pool. Persons who have recently had diarrhea should refrain from swimming until all symptoms are gone; they should shower thoroughly. Related to this, remind children not to drink or even put pool water into their mouths.

Regarding drowning prevention, teach children safety rules regarding swimming, and closely supervise them in backyard pools, public pools, water parks, and natural ponds, lakes and rivers.

At public places, the duty of a lifeguard is to ensure swimmers are safe. They are there to prevent problems by reminding swimmers of rules, and if necessary, rescue anyone in danger. The presence of unsupervised children could distract lifeguards from their true purpose.

Many public pools do not allow breath holding/swimming challenges, or underwater tea parties. The reason is that it’s difficult for a lifeguard to tell whether someone staying underwater is playing or drowning.

A special note: don’t swim in flooded areas.