Water Safety

“But those who drink the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14 NIV

By Kathy Ferguson, RN, Parish Nurse

In the Bible, the first mention of water occurs in Genesis in the story of creation— And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Water is an important component of our faith. In baptism we are reborn children of God and inheritors of eternal life through water and the Holy Spirit. Water also nourishes us, cleans us, and allows for fun and entertainment. This summer many of us have already been enjoying the recreational activities that water provides. Water is also a powerful force and it is important to keep safety in mind when we are around it. The following are some tips from the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the Pool Safely “Simple Steps Save Lives Program” for you and your family to help you remain safe when enjoying water activities.

1. Stay close, be alert, and watch children in and around pools, lakes, and rivers
 Never leave a child unattended near water
 Teach children basic water safety tips
 Have a telephone/cell phone close by when you or your family is involved in water activities

2. Learn and practice water safety skills
 Learn how to swim and teach children how to swim
 Understand the basics of life-saving, including CPR, so that you can assist in an emergency

3. If you have a pool, keep it safe with the proper equipment
 Install fences, gates, and pool and gate alarms
 Ensure any pool and spa you use has compliant drain covers

4. Buddy up
 Always swim with a partner, no matter what your skill level

5. Know your limits
 If you’re not a good swimmer, don’t go in water that’s so deep you can’t touch the bottom

6. Swim in safe areas only
 It’s best to swim only in places that are supervised by a lifeguard
 Know where not to swim and pay attention to warning signs posted in the area

7. Be safe when boating
 Wear your life jacket – And make sure children wear theirs (In Minnesota it is the law that any child under 10 must wear a life jacket when a watercraft is underway)
 Stay sober –Alcohol is the #1 factor in boating fatalities
 Be weather aware
 Know what you are doing –take a boating safety course

Enjoy the water—but stay safe!

water safety

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