Water and Swimming Safety Tips
Glencoe is a wonderful place for a water adventure! With swim season in full force, Public Safety asks that you make water safety a top priority. Here are some quick tips to help keep you and your family safe:
- Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
- Always swim with a buddy – do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
- Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
- Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate water orientation and swim courses.
- Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability, do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings, and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming under water or have breath-holding contests.
- Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including Lake Michigan and the Skokie Lagoons. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
- If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
- Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination, affects swimming and diving skills and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.
Summer Heat Safety Tips
Summer also means more time outside in the heat. While the warm weather can mean fun in the sun, Public Safety encourages you to enjoy the outdoors responsibly by taking these simple steps to help prevent heat related illnesses.*
- Wear loose, lightweight and light-colored clothing.
- Avoid sunburn. Be sure to apply sunscreen and to cover up with a hat or umbrella while outdoors for extended periods of time. Did you know that having a sunburn is not only bad for your skin but also reduces your body's ability to rid itself of heat?
- Take breaks from the heat and seek a cooler place. Being in air-conditioning, even for just a few hours, is one of the best ways to prevent heat exhaustion. At the very least, find a well-shaded spot. Fans alone aren't adequate to counter high heat and humidity.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated will help your body sweat and maintain a normal body temperature. Avoid alcohol use.
- Avoid hot spots. Did you know that on a hot day, the temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees F in just 10 minutes? Let your car cool off before you drive it. Never leave children or pets in a parked car in hot weather for any period of time.
- It's best not to exercise or do any strenuous activity in hot weather, but if you must, follow the same precautions and rest frequently in a cool spot. Taking breaks and replenishing your fluids during that time will help your body regulate your temperature.
*Source: Adapted from the Mayo Clinic Website / http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-exhaustion/basics/prevention/con-20033366
Do you know the signs of heat related illness? Here are the most common illnesses and symptoms:
- Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat-related illness. It occurs when the body becomes unable to regulate its core temperature. Sweating stops and the body can no longer rid itself of excess heat. Signs include confusion, loss of consciousness, and seizures. Heat stroke is a medical emergency - call 911 immediately if you or another is experiencing these symptoms.
- Heat exhaustion is the body's response to loss of water and salt from heavy sweating. Signs include headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, thirst and heavy sweating.
- Heat cramps are caused by the loss of body salts and fluid during sweating. Low salt levels in muscles cause painful cramps. Tired muscles, those used for performing the work, are usually the ones most affected by cramps.