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May is National Water Safety Month

Swimming is one of life’s greatest activities. It offers health and fitness benefits, cools you off in the summer and can be gallons of fun. However, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional, injury-related death for children ages 1-14, so make sure you stay safe in the water by being water smart.

The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim well. Boulder City Pool offers these water safety guidelines, just in time for May’s observance of National Water Safety Month.

Be water wise

Swim in areas supervised by lifeguards.

Always swim with a buddy.

Read and obey all posted rules.

Supervise children at all times, even with lifeguards on duty.

Watch out for “dangerous toos”: too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun and too much activity.

Know how to prevent, recognize and respond to emergencies. Aquatic emergencies happen suddenly.

Use only the correct Coast Guard approved life jackets. Items such as “water-wings,” “noodles” or “floaty” swimsuits are not substitutes for an approved life jacket.

Enter the water feet first unless the area is marked for diving and has no obstructions.

Don’t mix alcohol with water activities. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination, affects skill level and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.

Be sun wise

Apply sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) several minutes before sun exposure. Reapply every two hours/after swimming or sweating. Remember, water and sand can reflect the sun’s rays, increasing your chance of sunburn.

Wear protective clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt, wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

Ultraviolet rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so avoid direct sun during these hours.

Be health wise

Germs easily spread in and around the pool and locker rooms, so please:

Don’t swim when you have diarrhea.

Don’t put pool water in your mouth. It is not drinking water.

Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before swimming. Wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Don’t change diapers at poolside.

Take children on frequent bathroom breaks and check diapers often. Don’t wait to hear “I have to go.”

Boulder City Pool is celebrating Water Safety Month and invites residents to visit the aquatic facility at 861 Avenue B for more information, coloring books and to sign up for swimming lessons. It is also gearing up for summer programs, including the world’s largest swimming lesson, which is scheduled for June 17.

The pool will be closed May 14-30 to take the bubble down and prepare for summer. The office and court hours during that time have yet to be determined.

It will reopen May 31 with adult lap swim from 6-9 a.m. and open swim from 1-5 p.m. All patrons must reserve a time slot and pay for a punch card/pass over the phone.

Call 702-293-9286 for details or more information.

Cheree Brennan is the aquatic coordinator for Boulder City.

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