Tips On How To Stay Safe During Summer Water Sports

More accidents occur during the summer months than any other time of the year. That’s because we are heading outdoors to enjoy all that the warm weather has to offer. In our rush to bask in a beautiful summer day, we are not always prepared to protect ourselves, so here are some tips on things to keep in mind as you enjoy the summer activities.

1. Sunscreen protection

Sunscreen, hat and shade

Sunscreen, hat and shade

One of the first things to keep in mind is to protect yourself from too much sun. Everyone should be using sunscreen anytime they are out in the sun. You can buy all types of sunscreen protection from very nominal SPF to high levels of SPF. The recommended minimum is SPF 15. The main thing to keep to remember is to apply sunscreen before going outside, and then reapply regularly during your outdoor activities, and always after getting wet. If you did not use sunscreen, then you are setting yourself up for a painful sunburn, and even worse, the potential of skin cancer. So be sure to use some type of sunscreen on the exposed areas of your skin.

You can also wear long sleeves or protective clothing to cover exposed skin. Be sure to also wear sunglasses that have UV protective lenses , and a hat to cover your head. At the end of the day, you want to be able to go inside and relax; you don’t want to have to deal with the pain of overexposure to the sun, because of a bad sunburn.

Check out these tips provided by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

2. Dehydration

It’s always a good idea to drink lots of water but even more important during the hot summer months. When you combine the hot weather with the outdoor water sport activities, a person can perspire a lot more fluid, than our body takes in, which can cause dehydration. Be sure to drink water before, during, and even after your outside activities. It’s also a good idea to drink fluids that have electrolytes after strenuous workouts.

Even when you’re in the water, you need to be sure your drinking plenty of liquids. We may be cooler when we are in water, but we are still expending sweat and energy, and need to replace the body fluids that have been lost. When you have the chance, take a break, and get out of the sun, into shady areas, or even inside an air conditioned area. A good to break from being outside is during the hottest times of the day – usually from late morning to late afternoon. With children, that’s a good time to plan lunch and naps, and take a break from the heat of the sun.

3. Bugs and Insects

We aren’t the only ones that love warm weather. Mosquitoes, gnats, bees, yellow-jackets and other bothersome insects will be more prevalent as the warm weather continues. If your area is fortunate to have afternoon showers, you also have to deal with the bugs that come after the rains. As with sunscreen, we need to use an insect repellent or other products available that will keep you from the harmful stings or bites of insects and bugs.

4. Water Safety

Anytime you get out in or on the water, it’s important to know your abilities, and your limitations. It’s great if you know how to swim, but don’t overestimate your abilities when spending the day outside at the beach or lake. Being overly tired, or even dehydrated, can affect your swimming, so be aware of your surroundings, and stay close to shore. In open water, also have some type of personal flotation device. If you are out on a boat, most states require that occupants of the boat wear life jackets or life vests. It is particularly important that young children or non-swimmers to wear jackets the whole time the boat is moving or away from shore.

For those of us that love to water ski or ride on boat water tubes, wearing a life vest of ski belt is a requirement.  It’s best to wear a U.S. approved Coast Guard life jacket, one that fits properly and securely.  Make sure that the equipment is in good shape:  skis fit properly, and towable tubes properly inflated.

If you don’t know how to swim, check out the local swimming classes at a nearby YMCA or community center. It’s an investment that will offer benefits the rest of your life!

Statistics indicate that drowning incident increase in lakes, rivers, and oceans during the warmer spring and summer months, so it’s best to be safe and have some type of personal flotation device or safety water vest available. Never swim alone, and never leave young children unattended.

With the right precautions, summer water sport activities can be fun and good exercise for the whole family!

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  1. […] always, safety is key in any outdoor water sports activities. Wear life jackets or another type of personal flotation device; follow the rules and […]

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