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Water Safety Lessons Every Family Needs For Summer Vacations

By Maria Cook

As the weather warms up, families take to the water for summer adventures. Swimming is an important skill for kids to learn, but a trip to the pool, local lake, or beach still carries some risks. Here are some things to consider in order to plan a truly safe swimming experience with your family, ranging from how to tell if water is safe to dip into, sun safety, what to wear at the beach, and the under-discussed signs of drowning every parent needs to know.

Brush up on pool safety ahead of time.

Public pools, lakes, ponds, rivers, and oceans. There are many different places where families can go to swim, and each comes with its own risks and benefits.

For example, public pools are some of the most widely available swimming spots for families--almost every town, no matter how small, has a pool somewhere, either at the local park, health center, or YMCA. Most are required to have lifeguards on duty, which adds safety. But public pools can also pose several health risks. Because small children have a bad habit of alleviating themselves in pool water from time to time, public pools often fill their water with harsh chemicals. 

Chlorine, cyanuric acid and bromine are just a few of the substances commonly put into pool water to "sanitize" it. These chemicals can cause skin irritation such as itchiness, dryness, redness or even hives. They can also irritate sinuses; something that is especially important to keep in mind if your child is asthmatic or has other breathing issues.