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Don’t Make Waves: Follow Water Safety Rules

Don’t Make Waves: Follow Water Safety Rules

By Kristy Warren

With summer in full-swing, many of us are looking for ways to beat the heat. A dip in the water is a summer favorite and a great way to cool off, but it’s important to enjoy the water safely. 

This time of year, the news is full of tragic stories about accidental drowning deaths and boating accidents. Drowning remains the leading cause of death in teens and young children.

Laurel Health Center physician Lara Jaussi, DO shares some tips to keep you and your family safe while enjoying the water.


  • Never swim alone. No matter your age or skill, accidents happen; if you have an emergency or fall unconscious, your risk of drowning is greatly reduced by supervision.

  • Enroll children early in swim lessons. Teaching kids how to float and swim saves lives.

  • Not a strong swimmer? Use floatation aides like arm bands (floaties) and life preservers.

  • Be vigilant, especially around young children. It only takes a moment for tragedy to unfold.

  • Lifeguards aren’t babysitters. They cannot keep track of every person at all times.

  • Don’t run around a pool. The deck or concrete by a pool is slippery, leading to painful slip and falls.
  • If your child is missing, immediately check the pool or any nearby body of water. Children are curious and are naturally drawn to exploring their surroundings, and time is critical in rescuing and resuscitating.

  • Alcohol increases your risk for a water-related incident as it dehydrates you and impairs judgment; use caution if drinking while fishing, boating, or near a body of water.

  • Know how to use your equipment. If you’re operating a boat or jet ski, parasailing, surfing, or water skiing, take the time to properly train in using the equipment to avoid injury.

  • Monitor use of the diving board and only dive where indicated; improper dives into shallow water can result in life-threatening injuries.

  • Pay attention to changing weather. Weather can change rapidly, and sudden thunderstorms, increasing heat, ocean undertow, and rough waves pose serious safety risks. If the weather turns, immediately leave the water and seek shelter indoors if necessary.

Whether you’re relaxing in a pool, ocean, lake, hot tub, or even the bath, don’t make waves—follow these water safety rules to ensure you and your loved ones enjoy a fun, memorable summer.