Safety tips on open water

This is a sponsored post by Nationwide. All opinions are my own.

 

Just a few weeks ago, I decided it would be fun to visit our local lake that is just a half hour from our house. I’m always a little hesitant to take the kids anywhere by myself, because sometimes handling three kids on my own is just too much work. But, they all enjoyed themselves so much, and for the first time, I was able to enjoy it just as much.

Luckily, this lake has a shoreline, where we were able to place a picnic blanket and dip our feet in the water. I don’t think any of us were really convinced to get fully in the water, and I blame my OCD with the anxiety of not knowing “what the heck is in there” haha.

I was more than prepared and packed some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a few snacks and some beach toys to hang out. The water had a nice cool to it, and we were able to relax for the good part of the morning.

That obviously didn’t stop me from still worrying about all the “what if’s” or worrying about any case scenario since the open waters are pretty new to us, and we all aren’t that great of swimmers. Luckily, partnering up with Nationwide again on their Make Safe Happen program helped. I was able to educate myself and the kids on how to take pretty good precautions and what to do if we ever found ourselves in a sticky situation.

Even though the kids are pretty aware of the basic rules of “don’t go into the water unless there is a parent around” with the open water, there are still five Hidden Hazards. Such as:

• Limited Visibility – Water in lakes and ponds can be murky, hiding hazards such as rocks, logs and uneven surfaces. Limited visibility can also make it difficult to see if a child falls in.

• Depth, Distance and Drop-offs – Unlike a pool, open water rarely has depth markings, making it difficult to know if kids are getting into water that is over their heads.

• Currents and Tide – Currents in rivers, creeks and streams can be fast-moving and unpredictable. While some strong currents such as rapids are visible, others can flow under the water’s surface.

• Water Temperature – Open water is usually colder than water in a pool, which can affect a child’s swimming ability.

• Weather and Seasonal Differences – Changes in the weather can make open water more hazardous. Heavy rains and flooding can create strong currents and rapidly change the depth and clarity of water.

We really need to be aware of our surroundings, especially when you’re out of your element and the kids are experiencing something new.

There are a few safety tips that you can take with you when you plan to be around open water this summer, such as always being within arm’s reach of your kids while in the water. With unexpected currents and tides, you never know what could happen. Being within arm’s reach and keeping an eye out at all times is a good route to go, as is putting your kids in swimming lessons before you decide to make a trip to open waters. I know both of my kids aren’t excellent swimmers, although they can keep afloat, but I know another swimming lesson this summer would help improve their skills in the water. Also, last but not least, get your kids a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for when they play in and around open water. They all come in different sizes that fit your kids and would definitely save a life.

My worst nightmare is having one of my kids struggle or drown in a pool, and even though I’m on high alert at all times, accidents happen, and it’s seems that most children in the U.S. drown in open water. To learn more about open water safety please head on over to www.makesafehappen.com or download the app, here.

July 14, 2018

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