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Well, it’s safe to say that the warmer weather is well under way.

As always, when the weather finally starts to cooperate with us (Thanks, Ohio!!), there are more people who are out enjoying Ohio’s many Lakes, which makes the risk for accidents rise.  We have created a list of simple “things to remember” when enjoying your lake.  And as always, accidents are just that– ACCIDENTS.  No one intends for them to happen, but a lot of them can be avoided if we are aware of ourselves and our surroundings.

Things to Remember: Swimming

Learn How to Swim– one of the best ways to prepare yourself and your family is to take swimming lessons.  Most facilities offer lessons for people as young as six months old.

Appropriate Supervision– Most times, there are different ability levels in the group of people you may be with– especially if children are involved (under which circumstance there should ALWAYS be supervision).  Make sure you know these abilities and can verify that the appropriate supervision is available. Always have weak swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life vests. Do not rely on water wings or floaties.

Know Water Depths– Unless you are 100% certain, always enter the water feet first– especially if it’s unknown waters.  Appropriate diving depth is 9 feet.

Substances- It may seem like a no-brainer, but common sense isn’t always common.  Make sure you aren’t under the influence of alcohol or drugs while swimming.

Take a Course– A water safety/ CPR course never hurt anyone and you never know when you might need it!  You might not be anywhere near the water– you could be out at a local restaurant and find someone in need of your life-saving skill!

Common Sense- I know we said it wasn’t so common, but if you have to second guess, then you probably shouldn’t do it. Always go with your first gut instinct.

Things to Remember: Boating

Have a Checklist- always have a handy dandy checklist on board and before you depart, make sure you’re able to check them off your list.

Life Jackets- Make sure that each passenger on board has a life vest available.

Follow the Rules- Sometimes we want to unleash our inner rebel and that’s just part of life, but let’s not do that with water safety.  It’s ok to call a handful of Cheez-its a “serving” in order to “stick it to the man” if that’s how you want to channel your inner rebel; however, boat and water safety rules were created to keep everyone safe.  If you’re unsure of such rules, you can check your specific lake’s website for more details.

Substances- Drinking and driving is not limited to the roadways; be smart.

Common sense- Again.  Rules are not here to make us have less fun.  Just remember to follow your gut and we can all enjoy the lake together with minimal to no problems!

Do you have any other precautions that you and your family take while on the water?  Let us know in the comments below!