Lifejackets – Not Just for Boating
Wearing a lifejacket is not just for boating…anytime children are around water lifejackets are a good idea, even in a swimming pool for young children.
As a builder of swimming pools mostly around family homes, we take safety around water very seriously, especially if there are young children around. This summer, there is a national effort to raise awareness of the importance of wearing a lifejacket for improved water safety, and this article takes a closer look at why it’s so important.
While it is the law that boaters have at least one lifejacket for every member on board, there are certainly many other beneficial applications for using a personal flotation device (PFD). The clear, sparkling waters of rivers, lakes and creeks can be inviting and enticing as an effective way to cool off on a hot summer afternoon. Often times, the beckoning water is actually very deep, cold and moving swiftly. In a moment’s notice, it can cause even the most experienced swimmer to weaken and drown.
Statistics show the obvious point that lifejackets when worn can save lives. In fact, the lives it saves are not just children. Many times, serious water tragedies could be totally avoided with positive outcomes if the adults, teenagers or children had been wearing a personal flotation device.
As a result, retailers, law enforcement, hospitals and public health officials are doing everything they can to raise the awareness of the public’s need to wear lifejackets when in water.
Lifejackets and Supervision
Swimming without a lifejacket and without proper supervision for children and individuals that are non-swimmers seem to be key components for safety. Both adults and children should always be prepared by wearing a lifejacket that fits properly. They should wear this lifejacket in a boat, or out of the boat, and whenever around beaches, rivers, lakes, pools or the ocean, and even a swimming pool.
Supervision for children is crucial. They should always be monitored anytime they are near or in the water. This means on the ocean, in a lake, on the beach, or simply in the backyard by the swimming pool. There should be at least one individual – an adult – that has been designated as the supervisor and “water watcher.” It is their duty to pay their complete and undivided attention to any non-swimmer or child around or in the water.
It is up to the supervisor to stay in the location where all of the children and non-swimmers can be heard, seen and quickly reached. Obviously, the designated water watcher needs to have the ability to retrieve any individual in the water, at a moment’s notice. Doing that requires them to be a competent experienced swimmer. A big portion of their duties includes avoiding any type of distractions including reading, preparing meals, or using the phone. Often times, non-swimmers and children have drowned quickly, while being completely surrounded by individuals that simply were not paying attention.
The easiest way to avoid any tragedy around water is to make sure that every individual around the pool or body of water is wearing a lifejacket at all times.