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Lake, Ocean, and Pool Safety

Swimming is a popular way to beat the heat without breaking the bank, but before you take the plunge into a pool, lake, or ocean, remember to take the right water safety precautions. Follow these recommendations and guidelines so you never find yourself "in over your head."

Plan and Prepare

  • Check the weather before going to the beach, lake, or pool. If there is any sign of an approaching storm, avoid being trapped near the water.
  • Look up surf and tide conditions before heading to the ocean, and pay attention to beach warning flags that indicate dangerous conditions. If a red flag is raised, the water is highly hazardous; if a double red flag is raised, the water is closed to the public.
  • Always apply waterproof sunscreen. Reflections off the water can lead to sunburns even on a cloudy day. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes when you aren't in  the water.
  • Make sure that you stay hydrated and have access to drinking water. Dehydration can lead to headaches or heat stroke, even when you are surrounded by water.
  • Don't drink alcohol if you plan on swimming. Alcohol impairs motor control, affects judgment, and causes dehydration—all of these factors can cripple even the best of swimmers.
  • Always bring a cell phone or two-way radio so that you can reach emergency responders if needed.

Look Before You Leap

  • Steer clear of murky water that may hide dangerous underwater objects, drop offs, or predatory and poisonous animals.
  • Avoid swimming near piers, pilings, and diving platforms — the ropes and nets that often hang from these structures could cause you to become trapped underwater.
  • Never dive into a body of water headfirst unless it is designated for safe diving. Thousands of injuries occur every year from swimmers diving into shallow waters.
  • Remember that the distance you swim away from a beach or boat is the same distance you will have to return, so don't get caught in open waters with no energy to swim back.
  • Choose pools and beaches that are monitored by CPR-certified lifeguards, and always heed their instructions.

Watch Where You Swim

  • Don't venture into deep water without knowing how to swim well. There are many organizations that offer swimming lessons, such as your local Red Cross chapter.
  • If you find yourself caught in a current, swim gradually across the direction of its flow, as this will provide the least resistance.

Always supervise young children while they swim — even if a child swims well, he or she can lose control if left unattended for a few moments. Make sure each child wears a flotation device while near the water.

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U.S. Security Associates (USA) is one of North America's largest security companies, with 160 locally-responsive offices providing premier national security services and global consulting and investigations to customers in a range of industries. Recognized for world class customer service, leading-edge technology, and an enterprise approach to risk management, USA offers optimized security solutions to meet specific customer needs. USA is committed to building quality security and risk management programs that are Safe. Secure. Friendly.® The Securing Knowledge series is part of the extensive and growing library of reference and training tools that contribute to USA's award-winning customer service and benchmark security programs. USA's investment in training and development resources is reflected not only by BEST Awards from the American Society for Training & Development, consistent ranking on the Training magazine Top 125, and technology-driven quality management system, but also by the company's leadership team, security officers, and service excellence on a daily basis.

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