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Safety Tips for Open Water Swimming

Posted on May 21st, 2019 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

Summer provides the perfect weather to get out into the water and start swimming.  Whether you’re training for your next triathlon or going on a leisurely swim with friends, it’s important to stay safe when swimming in open bodies of water. Follow these tips during your next swim to stay safe and enjoy all that summer has to offer.

Never Swim Alone

Open water can be unpredictable and the tide can change at any time. Because of this, you should always swim where a lifeguard is located. Another important rule is to go with a group of friends or partner so you can be prepared for an emergency.

Know The Area You Are Swimming In

Sight buoys and land openings upon entering the water, and have a general knowledge of where you plan to swim by mapping your distance.

Check For Rip Currents Beforehand

Check your local news for reports on rip currents. You may not be able to tell the strength of a rip current’s pull or the direction in which it’s going until you enter the water. If you do get caught in a rip current, try to ride the current until it weakens and you can swim out of it, parallel to the shore. Never try to fight the current or swim against it.

Be Aware of Water Conditions

Make note of possible boat traffic or hazardous conditions before entering the water. Surveying the area before entering the water will help you know what to look out for when swimming.

Check The Weather Before You Go

Storms and open water swimming are not a good combination. That being said, don’t rely on one news report for an accurate forecast, as no meteorologist is 100% right. Double check at least two trusted channels before planning on going for a swim.

At Orthopaedic Specialty Group,our sports medicine physicians are board-certified orthopaedic surgeons. We take a comprehensive approach to treating sports injuries, which includes superior diagnostics, physical therapy, pain management, and the latest surgical techniques. Contact us today to schedule your appointment (203) 337-2600!