Beautiful weather and summer holidays just invite us to spend time at the seaside, lakes or rivers. They are marvellous places to deal with scorching heat that in Poland can be over 30 Celsius degrees during summer months from June to August. Trips for swimming, sunbathing, canoeing, sailing or windsurfing are ones of favorite past times. Still, to create enjoyable memories we cannot forget about water safety rules. Read our article below to find the most important rules to ensure a safe stay to yourself and your close ones.
Standard rules for water relax:
- While swimming, do not stray away from the designated, guarded place at the bathing beach. Do not swim far from the water bank.
- Always bathe in a group.
- Do not go into the water, the temperature of which does not exceed 19 degrees Celsius, or during a storm.
- Do not go into the water immediately after eating a meal.
- Never swim after drinking alcohol. It not only worsens mobility and orientation in space, but can also contribute to the rapid loss of body temperature and the formation of muscle contractures.
- Do not jump into the water, warmed up by prolonged sunbathing. An abrupt change in temperature may end in a thermal shock that is dangerous to your health. Therefore, first rinse the area of the heart, neck, abdomen, arms and legs with water. Thanks to this, you will even out the body temperature and the bath will be safe.
- Never jump (especially on your head) into unfamiliar water, always check the depth of the water and the shape of the bottom.
- Do not shout or call for help when you are bathing, if you do not really need it.
- Do not throw garbage or glass into the water.
- In case of malaise, feeling cold - get out of the water immediately.
- Do not use inflatable mattresses at the seaside, do not fall asleep on inflatable toys while on water.
- Use a life vest on a boat, kayak or motorboat.
- In sunny conditions it is necessary to apply a cream with high UVA and UVB filters. We have to repeat it every 2-3 hours.
- Children always have to be supervised by adults.
- Take care of your valuables. A serious threat while relaxing by the water are thieves who are just waiting for a moment of your inattention. In addition to a stolen wallet or telephone, the loss of documents, including your ID card, and the theft of your identity, may be very dangerous and deplorable.
When someone needs help:
- Seeing something disturbing in the water, call for help. It is forbidden to independently, without support, undertake rescue actions in the water.
- It is forbidden to go directly to the drowning person.
- We always give the drowning person an object which is floating.
- Remember that in water, the drowning person is always stronger.
Water safety. The most often threats and how to deal with them:
- Muscle spasm. Keep calm, try to stretch the aching muscle, call for help of other people.
- Excessive cooling of the body. Immediately get out of the water, dry and warm the body, cover yourself warm. In a situation where you cannot get out of the water, call for help.
- Choking on water. Keep calm, coughing makes it easier to remove the obstruction in the airways. Get help from swimming aids and call for help from other people.
- Loosing strength. You should lie down calmly on your back on the water, breathe gently and rest. Get help from other people if possible.
- Swimming in strong current. Try not to swim against the current, succumb to the power of the water and leave the area of the currents. At sea try to swim along the shore, on the river try to lie on your back with your legs pointing forward or protect your body from injuries with your arms in front of you. Call for help.
- Strong waves. Lie on the water, let the wave float, rest, try to swim on the crest of the wave. Avoid swimming when the waves are too strong.
- Seaweed. Try not to panic, nervous movements favour the entanglement of the aquatic vegetation. Lie still in the water, preferably on your back, carefully swim out of the danger zone with shallow and easy movements. Seaweed should be untangled slowly.
A rest by the sea or a lake is a dream recipe for a successful holiday for many of us. However, the sun, carefree and lack of imagination sometimes cause them to end tragically. This is why please remember about the above mentioned rules to bring only good memories from your summer holidays. Let's swim only in specially designated places that are guarded by a WOPR lifeguard. We should also observe the prohibitions on bathing, entering the water is safe only when the white flag is fluttering on the swimming pool mast. Stay safe and healthy!
Author: Agnieszka Szwedzińska