Warm weather is here at last! Families will enjoy fun, socially distant hot days at their household pools and local natural bodies of water this summer. Richmond is minutes from the James River, and an hour’s drive from miles of beautiful beaches. While public spaces will not be as open to leisure as past summers, many Richmond families will engage in the aquatic activity. Are you staying water-safe?
Did You Know?
- Drowning is the number one leading cause of accidental injury-related deaths in children 4 years and younger
- Drowning is the 2nd leading cause of accidental injury-related death for kids ages 1-14 years
- 10 people drown in the U.S. every day
- 50% of the population doesn’t know how to swim
- 70% of African Americans don’t know how to swim
- Nearly 61% of parents report that their child cannot save their own lives in the water, yet nearly all parents (94%) expect that their children will engage in some sort of water activity this summer
What can you do to be water safe?
The number one way to prevent drowning related injuries is learning how to swim. SwimRVA believes water safety is the ability to swim correctly for a distance unassisted on both your back and front. Everyone should know the correct technique for the breaststroke kick as this is the proper kick motion for treading water. Swimming on your front and back and knowing how to tread water effortlessly are the skills that will save your life.
Learning to swim not only provides you with the necessary life-saving skills to be water safe, but it also provides you with the tools to be active, healthy, and fit for the rest of your life.
6 General Water Safety Tips
- Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR): We believe that all parents, guardians, and child care providers should know CPR.
- Never leave a child unattended near a body of water: Drowning is not like the movies. They can happen faster than you can send a text, check the grill, or apply your own sunscreen. Usually, the swimmer is not loud and splashing water. Most drownings are quiet.
- Always swim with a buddy: You or your child should never swim alone. Use a buddy system and always go with another person.
- Fence it in, lock it up: If you own a pool in your backyard please make sure that you check your fence every year, ensure the lock is still in working order and that the fence is at least 4 feet tall with gaps no wider than 4 inches.
- Wear a life jacket: Even if you know how to swim you should always wear a life jacket, especially in bigger bodies of water. This has less to do with your swimming ability and more about your safety if you were to become unconscious or too tired to continue swimming in stressful situations.
- Keep emergency equipment handy: Storing and knowing how to properly use emergency equipment can be vital in a water rescue.
We want you to have fun in the water this summer but BE SAFE! Take a few moments each day to be aware of the dangers and be prepared to avoid them. As Dory says “Just Keep Swimming!”
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The Mission of SwimRVA is to elevate swimming in the Richmond region making water safety and aquatic fitness more accessible to all. We promise to serve as a catalyst for regional aquatics and community-wide focus on water safety, health and fitness, sports tourism, and competitive aquatics. Donate today to help support our mission