Water Safety
When the weather turns warm, we all want to be in or around the water. Hanging out at the pool, lake or the beach on a hot day is a great way to beat the heat. Playing in the water whether swimming, boating or diving can be fun. It can also be dangerous for children and adults. Being safe can prevent injuries and drowning. Homewood Fire Chief John Bresnan says,”Homewood Fire & Rescue Service has greatly improved its water rescue capabilities over the past few years through specialized training, but the best rescue method is prevention.”

Diving injuries can cause permanent spinal cord damage, paralysis and sometimes even death. Protect yourself by only diving in areas that are known to be safe, such as the deep end of a supervised pool. If an area is posted with “NO DIVING” or “NO SWIMMING” signs, pay attention to them. A “NO DIVING” sign means the water isn’t safe for a head-first entry into the water. Even if you plan to jump in feet first, check the water’s depth before you leap to make sure there are no hidden rocks or other hazards. Lakes or rivers can be cloudy and hazards may be hard to see.

To stay safe in and around water, follow these rules:
• Avoid alcohol when swimming or boating. Alcohol is involved in numerous water-related injuries and up to half of all water-related deaths.
• Wear a life jacket when you are on a boat.
• Provide a life preserver ring with an attached rope at your pool, pier and in your boat.
• Never swim alone or in bad weather.
• Learn CPR, you could save a life.
• Learn to swim and teach your children to swim. Homewood Parks and Recreation offers swimming lessons taught by certified lifeguards.
• Always supervise your children when they are in the water.
• Teach your children to walk, not run around a pool area.
• Prevent sunburns by applying plenty of sunscreen to you and your children.
• Drink plenty of fluids. It is easy to get dehydrated in the sun.
• Only dive in safe areas.
• Before you go out on a boat, let somebody on land know where you are going and how long you will be out.

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