Story by Paige Eichkorn
What more screams summer than lounging around the pool or cooling off at the lake. You’ve grabbed your bright beach towel, that book you’ve been wanting to read, and a refreshing iced tea kept cool by your trusty Yeti. That’s the definition of summer, right?
When you do find time to make a trip to the lake or pool, it’s important to be safe in and out of the water. Here’s your guide to splish-splashing safely at your favorite dipping spot.
If you’re floating around the backyard pool, noodles are great for adults and kiddos who can swim, but they’re not the safest bet when it comes to the lake. Wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket to keep you afloat and don’t forget about putting one on Fido too. Float coats are great options for your furry friends.
keep that sun in check
There’s nothing worse than coming home after a fun day by the water only to realize that the sunscreen you put on first thing that morning has long gone away. Be sure to reapply sunscreen every 80 minutes and after getting out of the water. Choose one with an SPF of at least 30. And don’t forget about putting it on your ears!
3 to 5 UV Index calls for wearing a hat & sunscreen
Before you head out, head over to the store and invest in a good pair of shades. Your eyes need as much protection as your skin. Your sunnies should have 100 percent UV protection for both UVA and UVB rays. By selecting polarized lenses, it’s easier to see in bright conditions and can keep that eye strain at bay.
wash away those cooties
Both chlorine and lake water can contain some icky stuff you definitely want to get off your skin after splashing around. Make it a priority to at least rinse off in a pool shower or with a hose after swimming and slip into some dry clothes until you can get home to suds away any bacteria or fungi.
Add in humidity and you can have a heat index up to 105°. Stay safe and limit outside time and stay hydrated.
pack nutritious foods
A few snacks while laying out in the blazing sun will only last you a few hours at most. Your body needs almost constant replenishing of water and nutrients to get you through a day on the lake or at the pool. Especially if you’re treading water, diving, and spending your energy in the water. So pack a lunch along with your snacks, that include protein, fiber and carbs.
That’s the average number of calories burned in 30 minutes of swimming
be safety smart
Being able to act in an emergency situation effectively could save a loved one’s life, so enroll in a CPR class near you. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a crucial skill to have if you, your family and friends are frequent pool or lake visitors. Even if a lifeguard is on duty, it’s up to whoever is closest to the drowning victim to know what to do for them. Make sure the scene is safe, call 9-1-1, take their pulse, and give initial breaths are the first few steps to successful CPR. Enroll in a class near you at redcross.org.
Drink that H2O
Active adults should drink 2-4 liters of water when outside on hot days
drink it, don’t just swim in it
Hydrate! Just because you’ve been submerged in the water most of the day doesn’t mean that your body has been absorbing it. It’s important to drink plenty of water regularly, even if you’re not thirsty. If you’re partaking in a summer cocktail, be sure to drink even more water as alcohol and sun aren’t the best of friends and you’ll be dehydrated at a faster rate. And please, if you are partaking, do not drive, on land or on the water.