By Laura Garcia, program specialist with Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP)
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Water activities are a great way to stay cool this summer, especially as area lockdown restrictions begin to ease. But before you take the plunge, brush up on these water related safety tips that could save a life.
- Learn how to swim! Before entering any body of water, you should know basic swimming techniques — lifeguard on duty or not. Be diligent by making sure your family members know how to swim, too. (Editor’s Note: Here’s a quick reminder that Soldiers are only permitted to swim in areas where a lifeguard is on-duty).
- When near the water, keep a close eye on children and others who are not strong swimmers. Tragedy can strike the moment someone mistakenly slips beneath the waves.
- Never swim alone. If something should happen, at least one other person needs to be around to respond and act.
- Know when to end a water session. Never swim if the water is too cold, if you are too tired or if you just had enough. Don’t overexert yourself, because the water will be there another day.
- Don’t consume alcohol while in, or over, the water. Alcohol can affect your response to situations, and it may cause you to miss the signs of danger.
- Know the conditions of where you are swimming or boating. How deep is the water? What are the currents like? Are there hazards located below the surface that you cannot see? Being knowledgeable of your surroundings will help you react accordingly to multiple situations.
- Watch the weather. Storms can move in quickly. If you can hear thunder, then you can be struck by lightning. Get out of the water and seek shelter immediately.
- Enjoy water activities, but use common sense. Make wonderful memories under the summer sun.
The 2020 Summer Sense Campaign runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day. So every Wednesday, listen for ASAP’s broadcast segment on AFN Bavaria. Then return to this article for the discussed recipes, quizzes and more.