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Friday, April 1, 2011

Beach and Water Safety

We often take for granted the things that we have learned about water safety. But for many travellers, we either forget ourselves overseas, or have to explain water safety to travellers within our own golden shores.

Knowing some basic water safety tips can help you and your family to have a happy holiday, wherever you are.

Tips on Staying Safe in the Water

* Never leave children unattended in or around water;
* If you are not a strong swimmer, make sure you have someone with you;
* Always let people know if you are going for a swim, especially if it is in a river or the ocean;
* Never swim directly after eating, as stomach cramps have lead to many people running into trouble in the water. Wait at least 30 minutes after eating before swimming.
* If you are having fun on the water in boats or with other water sports equipment, make sure you check the weather conditions before setting out, and that they are run by reputable businesses. Jet skis, boats and parasailing should all include a life vest.

Common Water Safety Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

1. One of the easiest ways to ensure you stay safe is to never go alone. Trouble in the water can surface quickly, and ensuring that someone is there to raise the alarm to help get you out of the water can save your life.

2. If you are travelling with children, it is particularly important that they at least know how to dog paddle before you head off. Planning ahead by placing your child in swimming classes before you leave is a responsible way to ensure you all have fun. Local councils usually provide a list of available swimming classes and some are even free of charge.

3. Never dive into a river or pool without knowing the depth and underlying terrain. Many people have suffered fractures of a very serious nature because they did not check the water first, and some have even ended up in wheelchairs for life.

4. Be careful of being dumped onto sandbars when the conditions are rough at a surf beach. If you’re unsure, don’t swim.

5. Remember to wait at least 30 minutes before swimming after you’ve eaten and never swim intoxicated, especially alone.
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