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Be Safe in Water

“Water activities are fun but they are not without dangers”

How to be safe in the water

There is a lot of fun that we can have in water. It will be more fun if you know how to swim

  1. Always know the place where you want to swim. In the pool, identify the depth of the pool at various angles. The depth might not be the same in one end of the pool to the other end.

  2. Always use hands buoys or floats if you are not a good swimmer or do not know how to swim.

  3. Make sure you have adults who can swim around you in case of emergency especially if you do not now or are not a good swimmer. In the pool, the life guard is usually on watch. However get his attention so that he knows you are in the pool.

  4. Swim with a partner. In case of emergency, you may help each other or one may call for help.

  5. Use the steps to go down the pool. Do not jump in. You may have wrongly estimated the depth of the pool and hurt yourself. In the river or sea, you might not know that there is a huge stone at the base of the water and you might get injured.

  6. Know your limits. Do not swim too long as you may develop muscle fatigue or cramps. Swim only up to the place where your feet can still touch the base especially so if you are not a good swimmer

  7. Learn simple life saving skills. Some private centres or NGOs do carry out the life saving session. Your skill may safe life one of the days.

  8. Diving.  Injury to your neck may occur during diving. This may lead to paralysis or even death

  9. Watch the sun. Sunlight reflected of the water may cause burning rays. You   may develop sunburn. Apply the sunscreen before you go in the water and use sunglass and protective clothing

  10. Drink plenty of water. Although you are in the water, you get dehydrated very easily in hot sun.

  11. Swim in safe area only.  In a swimming pool, know the depth of water of the whole pool. The depth at one end may not be same at the other.

  12. Learn about water safety signs and the flags at the beach  There may be sign about the depth of the water, fast current or presence of a rapid which means it is not safe to be in the water.

  13. Learn to spot danger in the water. The dangers may be:

    • The water is too cold

    • There may be hidden current

    • It may be difficult to get out of the water like step, slimy bank

    • The water is too deep for you

    • The water may have things that can hurt you like broken glass, empty rusty cans and etc

    • There is no life guards

    • There are too many water sports going around the area.

    • It may be polluted and you may get ill being in the water. You can suspect pollution if the environment is dirty and you see rats amongst the rubbish. Rats urine in the water can cause serious illness called leptospirosis to people who accidentally drink the contaminated water.

  14. Be careful with the water sports. You may be using one of the water sports like the jet skies, towed inflatable rides, water skiing or wind and kite surfing; it is a lot of fun. Follow the rules and procedures. Always have a life jacket on. Used irresponsibly it can cause a lot of problem and even death to yourself or others. If you decide to use one of the water sports here are some tips for you.

    • Make sure the kit or vehicle is not faulty

    • Always wear a life jacket properly and use one which fits you

    • Ensure no other water sport is going on same time in the same area. Collision easily occur

In cases of emergency:

  • Do not panic

  • If your friends get into trouble in the water and you are not a good swimmer, call for help.

  • Do not attempt to save your friend alone. You must think of your own safety first.

  • Drowning person will usually panic and will clutch on to you and prevent you from swimming.

  • You may try to reach out to the drowning person, or reach to him using a stick. Throw a rope to the person and pull him to the shore or throw anything that can act as a lifebuoy for the person to hang on until help arrive.

  • If you get caught in a water current, swim along the water current until you reach the shore.

  • If you cannot swim or are too tired to swim, just keep floating and the current will slowly slow down.

  • Then you can swim back to the shore. Even strong swimmer swimming against the current can get worn out and drown.

Last Reviewed : 29 Mei 2014
Writer : Dr. Salmah bte. Nordin
Accreditor : Dr. Nik Rubiah bte. Nik Abdul Rashid