Safety tips for swimming


Swimming is a good exercise if done with the precautions and under supervision. Here are safety tips for swimming.

Swimming pool infections are rampant during Summer

Children with their not-fully-developed immune systems are more prone to catch infections at the swimming pools, though elders are equally at risk. Swimming pools, if not properly cleaned, can be the hub for many kinds of infections. Children usually get infections of skin, toes, between the fingers, eye, ears, nose and throat during these days as they go swimming,

Before you enter in to the swimming pool

1. Don’t eat anything atleast an hour before you go for a swim. Mixing chlorinated water with food can lead to upset stomachs.Eat for energy. Two to three hours before exercise, eat a combination of carbohydrates and protein. The carbohydrates will give you energy, and the protein will sustain that energy. Break your fast, If you exercise first thing in the morning, it’s important to break your fast before exercising. When you eat before you workout, you actually fuel your workout and burn calories more effectively.

2. Apply a good waterproof sunscreen/sunblock on all parts of body (even those which are not exposed). Even very effective waterproof sunscreens will wash out in 20 minutes of swim. Alternatively you can also apply moisturizer. Give it some time to sink in.

3. Take shower in the pool shower room before you get in to the swimming pool.

4. Use ear plugs during swimming to minimize exposure.

5. Chlorine is used to clean swimming pools. The level of chlorine in the pool water should be low when you are using it. Check the pH of the swimming pool using store-bought pool test strips or by asking the pool staff for the latest inspection score.

6. Swim only when a lifeguard is on duty and in areas designated for swimming. Never swim alone. As tempting as it may be to catch some time alone in the backyard pool, deserted lake or ocean, do not do it. Accidents happen even to young, strong, healthy individuals who are good swimmers.

7. Wearing a cap helps exposing your hairs to chlorinated water.

8. Never swim during a thunderstorm. Follow lifeguard instructions for exiting the pool. If swimming in a residential pool, exit the water immediately when you hear thunder. Lightning often strikes water and water conducts electricity. If you swim and lightning strikes, you risk serious injury or death.

9. Do Not Swim Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol. Even strong swimmers can succumb to the effects of alcohol and drugs while in the water. Being under the influence of either or both seriously impairs judgment and coordination and increases the risk of injury or drowning.

10. Use floating devices if you are new to swimming.

Supervise Children

Children should never be allowed to swim unsupervised by adults anywhere. Adults who are supervising children should remain alert, vigilant and never turn away or get distracted, not even for a moment. Swim only when a lifeguard is on duty and in areas designated for swimming. Parents of young children and nonswimmers should carefully supervise their children even in settings where a lifeguard is present. All swimmers should respect the rules for swimming in a given environment and follow the directives of the lifeguard.

Avoid Diving Headfirst

Do not dive headfirst into shallow or murky water, or water of uncertain depth. Diving in shallow water can cause injuries and drowning. Diving into murky water such as ponds, quarries or lakes without knowing the depth or underwater environment is dangerous. Rocks and other objects in the water pose hazards. It is best to enter the water feetfirst.

Visit Doctor if eye infection is suspected.

Visit an eye doctor for an eye exam. Avoid touching eyes with unclean hands. Do not wear contact lenses while the time infection persists and use eye glasses for some time, post treatment.

Learn Basic First Aid

It is a good idea for adults, especially those who are parents or who care for children, to learn basic first aid. Rescue measures can mean the difference between life and death, especially for families with residential pools.

After Swimming

1. Take a shower with normal water/soap to remove the chemicals as soon as you get out of the pool. Wash your hair too if you are not wearing a cap.

2. Being in water for a long time can make your skin dry and itchy. After a shower, be sure that you apply lots of moisturizer to the damp skin. Do not miss any part of your body. Vaseline petroleum jelly is considered to be one of the most effective in case of itchiness.

2. Make sure you do not wear clothes on wet or damp skin. This can cause rashes and other skin problems. Wait till the moisturizer/ sunscreen gets fully absorbed by the skin and pat any left wet skin with a dry towel.

3. During swimming, Swimmer unknowingly consume lots of chlorine with the air he/she breath/ water from the pool which is harmful for skin and lungs. So as soon as you come out of the pool, intake lots of fresh air outside the pool area by nose/or even by opening your mouth.

4. One of the most common after effects of swimming is excessive hunger. But another one is dehydration. So before you pound to some food, hydrate your body by drinking lots of water.

5. Even after lots of potions of sunscreen, we cannot avoid slight tanning of skin. And for Indian skin, this can be a little discouraging. Avoid swimming during sun, you can opt for morning/ evening swimming sessions.

6. Some home remedies to lighten the affect of tanning are applying lemon and curd on the tanned areas, Gramflour and turmeric or raw milk/milk powder can also prove effective.

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