Swimming fun with caution: what rules you should follow

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We’ve been longing for summer for months. But now it’s finally here, with lots of sun, sport, games, fun, cocktails, fries, and lots and lots of ice cream. All this makes for carefree days in the outdoor pool, by the pond, and at home by the pool. Here are some important dos and don’ts to ensure that no shadow falls on the cheerful idyll and that the 2024 bathing season remains a good memory without accidents or worse.

A well-known lifeguard in Germany for his television appearances, among other things, always rumbled this sentence at the start of the swimming season: “An outdoor pool is not a democracy.” The pool attendant meant to say there are non-negotiable rules in the pool for good reason.

We know many rules from the canon of precautionary measures: Thou shalt not run in the bath. Thou shalt not push or shove others and certainly not go under against their will. You should also not go into the pool on a full stomach and certainly not jump in blindly from the pool’s edge. This applies all the more to natural waters. You should apply the cream. You should shower before swimming – for hygienic reasons and to get your circulation used to the water temperature. But above all, you should be able to swim. It sounds logical, but it’s not.

“Unfortunately, statistics show that drowning is still the most common cause of fatal accidents in Austria for children up to the age of five, and the second most common for older children. That’s why children should be taught to swim as soon as possible,” says Johann Poinstingl. The President of the Austrian Association of the Swimming Pool Industry (ÖVS), who has four grandchildren himself, is still trying to raise awareness of the issue of “child safety around swimming pools” after four decades in the industry.
Many different precautionary measures are available, ranging from safety wristbands and solid pool covers to pool alarms with ultrasound. “That’s all well and good. However, the most important thing is and remains the duty of supervision. To prevent swimming accidents involving children, it is important never to leave them unattended or to delegate the duty of supervision to other children,” emphasizes Johann Poinstingl. As practice shows, swimming accidents often happen within just a few minutes, sometimes seconds. However, they often go unnoticed because children usually go under silently.

But dangers lurk not only in the pool but also around it. Toys, for example, have no place near the pool. “They encourage children to be careless and are dangerous tripping hazards,” says the swimming pool professional. In this context, the expert refers, among other things, to non-slip pool surrounds, which also benefit tall sunbathers as they can prevent falls and, consequently, serious injuries.

  • source: freizeit.at/picture: pixabay.com
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