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Now that summer has finally arrived (wet as it may be!), a good way to cool down from the Texas heat is to take a dip in your local swimming hole. Austin certainly has its fair share: Barton Springs, Lake Austin, Hamilton Pool, the Pedernales River, and Twin Falls are just a few hill country favorites. Before you and your friends and family jump in, however, don’t forget to think about water safety. The best way to have fun in the water is to be safe, and here are a few tips to help you out.

  1. Read all posted signs. They can provide much needed information about the environment, which can warn you about possible dangers.
  2. Never leave children unattended. They are small but fast, and very curious as well. Always keep them in your line of sight!
  3. Wear a life jacket. Even if you are a strong swimmer, accidents can happen. Be prepared.
  4. Know your water depth. Nine feet is the minimum depth the American Red Cross recommends for diving.
  5. Know the water where you swim. Strong tides or an undertow can be unexpected dangers.
  6. Swim with a buddy. Of course, this means you must also keep track of your buddy, but then they should also be keeping track of you. That’s what a buddy is for!
  7. If someone is missing, check the water first. Every second can count.
  8. Have a phone nearby for emergencies. This is especially important when away from shore or out camping.
  9. Learn to swim! Yes, this seems like a no-brainer, but the safest way to have fun in the water is to have the skills to navigate the water safely.
  10. Learn CPR! This cannot be stressed enough. You never know when this lifesaving skill can come in handy. There are classes available every month, and links are provided at the end of the article.

When you grab your swim suit and sun screen, don’t forget these simple tips. Austin is a great place to enjoy the outdoors, and our swimming holes can’t be beat. Have fun this summer, and stay safe swimming in Austin!

CPR classes available at and St. David’s South Austin Medical Center.
Audra Luspin, OTR, St. David’s Rehabilitation Hospital

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