Here are some swim-safety tips from the American Red Cross:
- Keep your eye on your child at all times when he or she is near water.
- Always swim with a buddy; never alone.
- Don't drink alcohol and swim. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination.
- To avoid choking, don't chew gum or eat while swimming.
- Stop swimming as soon as you hear or see a storm in the distance. Lightning can travel as far as eight miles from the storm and, as you probably remember from science class, water conducts electricity, so keep out of the pool or water.
- Obey signs that say no diving; these areas have been deemed unsafe for this activity.
- Watch out for the "dangerous too's" — too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, and too much strenuous activity. If you experience any of these, get out of the water. Keep the fun in summer by practicing water safety.
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- Do you really have to wait an hour after eating before swimming?
Copyright 2003, Dr. Rob Danoff
Robert Danoff, D.O., M.S., is a family physician. He is program director of Family Practice Residency Frankford Hospitals, Jefferson Health System, Philadelphia, Pa. He also is a medical correspondent for The Comcast Network, CN8, contributing writer to the New York Times and writes a weekly medical column for the Bucks Courier Times, Bucks County Pa.