It’s summertime and the water in Lake Vilbig looks great. The ILA encourages you to use the lake and enjoy it responsibly. Please be safe out there.
Swimming and boating on Lake Vilbig is at your own risk, however, the ILA wants you to be safe in and around all water bodies (not only on Lake Vilbig). Swimming and boating are great recreational sports that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. But there are dangers associated with each sport. Some are obvious and some others not so much. The ILA is providing these important swimming and water safety tips you should be aware of before you head out to the lake, or pool, or beach.
The American Red Cross offers this advice:
Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
Maintain constant supervision.
Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability, do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings, and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming under water or have breath-holding contests.
Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards whenever possible.
Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around bodies of water including lakes, rivers and ocean shoreline. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
Make sure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses.
If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.
Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit near the water.
Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
Protect your skin. Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15.
Drink plenty of water regularly, even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.
The US Coast Guard offers this advice:
Wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
Make sure the life jacket is in good condition. Do not use life jackets that are damaged frayed or worn out.
Inspect your boat regularly, including all associated boating equipment. Repair any defects prior to going out on the water.
Take boating safety courses. Many boating safety courses are offered for all types of recreational boaters, and for boaters of all ages. Qualified volunteer organizations, such as the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadron, and many state boating agencies also provide classes.