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Residential Pool Safety Tips for Your Summer Fun

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With the beautiful weather in Southern California, many of us use our pools nearly year-round. Summer can come up quick for many families, and it is easy to forget about proper safety precautions for the pool area. Before the next time you spark up the barbecue and gather the kids to enjoy some summer fun around the pool, be sure you have done all you can to keep your family and visitors safe.

Pool safety begins before anyone enters the water. At the beginning of each summer season, it is essential to inspect the entire pool and surrounding areas for potential hazards.

  • Inspect the pool fence and gate – every pool should have a secure fence with childproof gate surrounding it. Replacing any faulty or damaged elements can help to keep unsupervised children from accessing the pool.
  • Inspect the deck and pool area – check the pool liner, metal supports (for above ground pools), and deck area for any hazards, including raised nails and sharp edges.
  • Install an alarm – if you often have small children on your property, whether a part of your family or just from the neighborhood, installing an alarm on the pool can be a lifesaving safety feature.
  • Secure pool chemicals – especially if the homeowner does not currently have children in the house, it is easy to forget to lock up the pool chemicals before inviting guests over for summer fun.
  • Check the lifesaving devices – as you pull out the lawn chairs and beach umbrellas from storage, make sure your pool lifesaving devices are in good condition and are easily visible.

Party Time – Pool Safety Tips

As the summer fun begins, pool safety is an important issue. These tips can help to ensure your family and guests have fun without risking injury.

  • No one swims alone – even for experienced swimmers, swimming alone can pose a significant risk. It is especially essential to never leave children unattended in the pool area.
  • Protect inexperienced swimmers – to ensure their safety, inexperienced swimmers should only be allowed in the pool area with someone who has the skills to perform a water rescue.
  • No glass allowed – remember that one broken glass can cause a cutting-hazard for the remainder of the season.
  • Use caution with electricity – by ensuring stereos and other electrical equipment are protected from water, you reduce the risk of electrical shock. Additionally, make sure to only use GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) outlets outdoors.
  • Be aware – the most important tip for pool safety is to be aware of what is happening in and around your pool.

If you are interested in learning CPR and First Aid, Premier hosts certification classes every Wednesday and Saturday. Register for your CPR and First Aid Classes here.

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5 Swimming Skills Every Child Should Know

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Across the country and especially in Southern California, many children are exposed to the water on a regular basis. In the summer, it is even more common. While this is exciting for children, it can be scary for parents. After all, we want our children to be safe at all times.

It is important to always have a capable adult actively supervising children near water, but it is also essential to give your children the skills they need to be comfortable and competent in the water.

Here is a list of skills that every child should have to be safer near the water.

Getting in and out of the pool safely.

It may seem like common sense to adults, but entering and exiting the pool safely is one of the first skills a child must learn. In order to avoid injury and build confidence, young children are taught how to sit and ease themselves into the water. Even more importantly, children are taught how to easily get themselves out of the pool.

Putting his or her face into the water and controlling breathing.

For small children, the thought of putting his or her face under the water and not being able to breathe can be quite scary. By teaching your child to control their breath and put his or her face under water without swallowing it, you are teaching your child an essential survival skill.

Floating on his or her back.

Especially for little swimmers, being in a pool can be exhausting. As children are learning to swim, it is important that they understand what to do if they have exhausted all of their energy before reaching the wall.

Swimming with forward motion.

Young children begin swimming forward with the “doggy paddle” because they have yet to learn how to be in the prone position. When a swimmer puts his or her face in the water, the legs naturally rise to the surface, creating a more efficient swimming position. With the face out of the water, the feet drop, creating significant drag. Teaching your child to swim in the prone position allows them to experience more forward movement with less energy – an important skill as they move toward being self-sufficient in the water. 

Treading water.

As children become stronger in the water, treading water becomes an essential skill for independence in the water. This skill not only makes the child safer in the water, but it develops incredible amounts of confidence.

Talk With The Experts About Your Child’s Swim Lessons

Premier Aquatic Services swim instructors use an exciting approach to help swimmers of all ages develop a love of the water. Our instructors are experienced with teaching all levels, whether it be helping beginners to be more comfortable in the water or training more experienced competitors on how to improve their stroke technique. To learn more about our swim lesson programs and register your child for summer and fall classes, visit our aquatic services page.

 

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Preventing Common Swimming Injuries

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Swimming is one of the most popular low-impact sports in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean you can’t get hurt. There are two common reasons swimming injuries occur: fatigue leading to poor technique and repetitive motion causing strain. Most swimming-related injuries develop over time. Therefore, whether you are a competitive swimmer or simply enjoy swimming for exercise, it is important to understand the common injuries in order to better prevent them.

3 Common Swimming-Related Injuries

Swimmer’s Shoulder

Shoulder injuries are the most common because swimming is a sport that involves a great deal of repetitive shoulder motion. Swimmer’s Shoulder is an umbrella term that covers a range of painful shoulder overuse injuries. The shoulder is a very mobile joint that is controlled by the stabilizing muscles and ligaments surrounding it. These muscles and ligaments are very sensitive to over-training, fatigue, hypermobility, poor stroke technique, weakness, and tightness. Ignoring minor shoulder injuries can be quite dangerous for swimmers because the more advanced forms of Swimmer’s Shoulder can be difficult to heal.

Breaststroker’s Knee

Swimmer’s Knee is often called Breaststroker’s Knee because the leading cause is the repetitive motions of the breaststroke kick. During breaststroke, the leg whips out to help propel the body through the water. When the legs extend and are brought back together, the knee is subject to an external rotation for which it wasn’t designed. This puts stress on the inner ligament of the knee, called the Medial Collateral Ligament.

Neck Injuries

Neck injuries are common swimming-related injuries that are not necessarily connected with a specific stroke. Injuries may result by over-rotating when repetitively turning for a breath during freestyle, hyperextending during breast stoke, or overexerting the anterior neck muscles during backstroke.

Tips For Preventing Injury

While swimming is a low-impact sport, its repetitive nature means each athlete must take care of his or her body and take the time to learn proper form.

Here are some tips to help keep you injury-free:

  • Take lessons with a certified instructor to learn proper technique
  • Progress slowly to allow the muscles to strengthen
  • Stretch before and after your workout, but avoid overstretching joints that are fatigued
  • Warm up properly prior to exerting yourself
  • Vary your stroke to work different muscle groups and perform different repetitive motions
  • Let your body recover with scheduled rest days
  • Hire a coach to watch and adjust your form if you are developing pain*

Consult The Experts

At Premier Aquatics Services, your health and safety are our top priorities. All of our instructors and coaches understand the importance of teaching proper technique and remaining aware of form while swimmers are in the water. Visit our website to learn more about our wide range of group and individual swim classes.

For more information on swim training, follow us on Facebook.

 

*Always consult with a physician if you experience an injury or pain.

Recognizing The Quiet Signs Of Drowning

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In the movies, a drowning person responds to his or her situation with waiving arms, violent kicking, and screams for help. Therefore, many of us look for those signs when scanning the water for people in need.

However, it simply doesn’t look that way. In truth, when a person is drowning, they are battling to stay above water. Their arms are focused on one thing – swimming. With panicked short gasps and fight to keep water out of their mouths, their lungs are also focused on one thing – breathing.

The reality is that a drowning person may look more like they are practicing treading water than experiencing life-threatening trouble. Even worse, they may look as though they are simply enjoying the view of the perfect blue summer sky. This is the reason so many don’t recognize that someone is drowning until the person goes under water.

Understanding The Myths Of Drowning

Calling for help – A drowning person will not be able to call for help. He or she also will not be able to make play sounds or talk with someone. This can be an especially important sign with children. Know your children and how they play in water. If they are suddenly quieter than usual, investigate.

Waiving arms – Don’t look for waiving arms. Signaling for help is a voluntary movement, and drowning victims lose this ability. A person who is in trouble in the water will be instinctively using his or her arms to try to stay afloat.

Big splashes and kicksMost drowning victims stay upright until they go underwater. Instinctively, their arms will be moving outward and downward, but because of the body’s instinctive drowning response, their legs often do not get the signal to provide the supporting kicks. Do not expect large splashes to be a sign of drowning.

Understanding The Signs Of Drowning

  • Uncontrolled arm movement – Arm movement will be outward and downward, but it will be uncontrolled.
  • Eyes are closed or glassy – The victim is experiencing an instinctive response and will not have the ability to logically analyze the situation to focus his or her sight on someone who can help.
  • Head tilted back with the mouth just above the water – The person may look more like they are enjoying looking at the blue sky than needing help.
  • Hair covering the face or forehead – A simple but important sign. People who are experiencing the threat of drowning lose the ability to perform voluntary actions, such as brushing the hair from their face.
  • Gasping or hyperventilating – They are struggling for breath both from their battle with the water and due to instinctive response within their body.
  • Trying to swim in a direction without going anywhere – It may look like he or she is stuck in a riptide. They may look like they are trying to swim somewhere, but they are not making any headway.
  • Turning onto their backs or float without leg movement – Many drowning victims will instinctively attempt to float, but without the essential leg movement that gets lost with the body’s instinctive drowning instinct, they will be unsuccessful.

Drowning can happen in as little as 60 seconds. Recognizing the first signs of trouble can mean the difference between a close call and a tragic event. When in doubt, always call out a simple question, “Are you okay?” If no answer comes, immediately provide assistance.

Talk With The Experts

Premier Aquatics Services provides our local community with lifeguard services, water safety trainings, and swim lesson programs. To ensure your guests’ safety, always remember to assign someone to watch the water at all times and hire a Premier Aquatics Services lifeguard for your next private party.

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How To Avoid Sunstroke and Sunburns

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While other areas of the country might be experiencing record breaking cold temperatures and snowstorms, it is all sunny skies in Southern California.

With spring just around the corner, temperatures will start to rise rapidly, and before you know it, you’ll be lounging on the beach or pool. It is important to make sure that while you and your family are having fun in the sun, you take the proper precautions to avoiding sunburns and sunstroke.

Apply Sunscreen

Most people do not put enough sunscreen on before exposing themselves to the sun. Sunscreen should be applied before going outdoors, and reapplied every two hours depending on the activity that is being performed.

Activities like swimming can remove sunscreen and might require you to reapply more often.

The sunscreen that you are using should protect against both UVA and UVB damage. You should be using a Sun Protector Factor (SPF) of at least 15 and, if you have sensitive skin, it should be even higher. The higher the SPF, the more protection it offers from the sun.

Remember, sunscreen does expire, so make sure you check the label before applying.

Cover Up

If you are going to be exposed to the sun for an extended period of time, make sure you cover up. Wearing a hat can protect your face from the sun and wearing sunglasses will help protect your eyes.

Wearing lightweight, light colored clothing will help reflect the sun’s rays back instead of absorbing them. If you are heading to the beach or pool, make sure you have a body-sized umbrella available to provide you with shade. Being directly out of the sun’s rays well help prevent your body from becoming dehydrated and keep sunstroke from setting in.

Limit Vigorous Activity

Try limiting vigorous activity in the middle of the day. This is when temperatures are usually the hottest and sunstroke can occur if you are performing a strenuous activity for an extended amount of time. Try rescheduling your activities to earlier in the morning or during evening hours. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and stay hydrated during your activity.

If at any time while you are in the sun you feel that you are getting sunburned or feel dizzy you should seek shade immediately and drink plenty of fluids.

For more First Aid tips visit our blog!

3 Reasons To Make Your Next Workout A Swim Workout

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Pools can be used for a lot more than soaking up the sun and avoiding the heat on a hot summer day. For many people, the thought of swimming laps in a pool is far outside their comfort zone, but it shouldn’t be.

 

Swimming laps isn’t just for water polo players, swimmers and triathletes. Anyone that has access to a pool can swim a few laps and reap the benefits of a calorie burning total-body work out.

We have provided a list of three awesome reasons why swimming is for everyone, no matter what time of the year.

Cross Training

Swimming is great for cross training. There is very little impact on your joints and it also stretches your body as you swim- something we don’t get enough of. Swimming is a different workout from anything you will experience in the gym and it’s a great way to target muscles that are usually neglected.

If you are runner or weight lifter, swimming is a great low-impact workout to give your muscles and joints a break from the stress that is put on them each day.

Heart Health

Swimming is an excellent aerobic exercise. It forces your body into a breathing pattern by being face down in a pool. This forces your heart and lungs to process oxygen more efficiently and in return your heart muscle grows stronger.

Endurance and Core Strength

Swimming can help with endurance in other areas of physical activity such as running and biking. Swimming also helps establish better breathing patterns for other sports.

It is estimated that somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of all Americans will experience some form of back pain during their lifetime. Lower back pain is associated with having a weak core. Swimming helps strengthen your core because you use it to maintain balance while swimming laps.

It is never too late to try something new! Go ahead and take a dive into the pool.

We offer frogman classes for teens and adults looking to get into great shape, in and out of the water.

How to Help Children Overcome Their Fear of the Water

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At one point or another, most children are afraid of the water – especially putting their head under water. The earlier you expose your child to the water, the more it will help prevent them from fearing it.

Below are six steps to help your child conquer their fear the water.

Step 1:

Bring your child to the side of a pool without any water wings or flotation devices. These tools can give your child a false sense of security and will lead them to develop the habit of not going in the water without the aids.

Step 2:

Have your child touch the water and demonstrate to them that water is safe and won’t hurt them. You can also encourage them to splash the water to show them that water can be fun.

Step 3:

Have your child blow bubbles into the water using his or her mouth. You can do this by having them get into the water with you and showing them how to blow bubbles. If they are still afraid of entering the water, you can have them lay on the edge of the pool and blow bubbles without being fully submerged.

Step 4:

Playing games is a great way to get your child acclimated to the water. Start by throwing sinking toys into the shallow end of the water and having your child reach down to retrieve them. As they become more comfortable with the water, you can gradually throw them into deeper areas of the pool. Keep doing this until they are comfortable with putting their head completely under water to revive the toys.

Step 5:

Getting your child to float on their stomach or back can difficult. Start by providing support by placing your hand under your child’s stomach or back. As they begin to become comfortable with floating, remove your hand so that they are floating without assistance. Once they are comfortable with floating on their stomach, try adding in basic kicking and arm movements while you give them support by holding their stomach.

Step 6:

Stand close to the edge of the pool and have your child push off of the wall or jump into the water to you. After they have successfully reached you, back up a little and try it again. Take progressive steps backward until they are using basic kicking and arm movements to reach you.

Gradually your child will gain more confidence in the water, and once they properly learn how to swim they will be able to swim confidently in a pool on their own.

At Premier Aquatic Services, we specialize in acclimating young children to the water and teaching them to be safe swimmer. We even have parent and me classes for children younger than 3-year-old.

Learn more about the swimming programs we have available.

Drowning Risks for Children 5 and Under

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Most of the time, drowning is completely preventable, especially with young children. There are many resources available to teach parents and their children about water safety.

Parents often believe that the only way for a child to drown is in a swimming pool, but this is not true. There are other water hazards that your child faces, and it is important to know where your child is most likely to drown to help you prevent it.

Infants: 0 to 12 months

Bathtubs pose the greatest danger for infants less than a year old. Bath seats, even the ones with the suction cups, are not always safe. Babies are still prone to rolling or even falling out of the bath seat. Just because your baby can sit up in the bathtub does not mean it is safe to leave them alone.

Solution:

Do not leave your child alone in the bathtub until they have had swim lessons and can comfortably swim in a pool.

Children: 1 to 5 Years Old

Children one to five years old have the greatest chance of drowning in a swimming pool. Children often believe they can swim better than they actually can or are unaware of the depth of the pool.

Solution:

Enroll your child in swim classes as soon as possible. There are parent and me classes available for children younger than three years old. Once your child reaches three, they are often mature enough to enroll in private, or group swim lessons.

Set strict rules for your child to follow when they are around the pool, such as always having to have an adult present before your child enters the pool.

Drowning is Preventable

The water should be a place that both you and your child enjoy. It is important that you start getting your child comfortable with the water as soon as possible.

The best way to prepare your child for water safety is to enroll them in swim lessons. There are swim classes for children of all ages available.

Find one in your area today.

Choose a United States Swim School Association Approved Facility for Your Child

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When selecting a swim school for your child or yourself, it is important to make sure that you choose a US Swim School Association approved facility.

The United States Swim School Association (USSSA) was founded in 1988 to provide a trade association for swim schools in the United States. This was the first ever organization that connected swim schools across the country. Today, the association has more than 400 members in the United States and 25 international members.

The USSSA ensures that members of the association are held to the highest standards so that parents and students are provided with a reliable and trustworthy resource when searching for a swim school. By choosing a school approved by the USSSA, parents can be sure that their child is attending a school that is safe and CPR/AED certified.

Members of the USSSA are also regularly updated on the latest techniques for teaching children how to swim. The US Swim School Association issues an exclusive swim lesson curriculum to their members. This is the curriculum has been used to teach thousands of children how to swim. It is a proven method that is continually being improved.

Children who enroll in a USSSA approved swim school will learn at faster rate and develop the correct techniques without picking up improper swimming habits.

Premier Aquatic Services is a proud member of the US Swim School Association and we offer swim classes throughout Orange County. Find a swim class near you today.

5 Essential First Aid Kit Items

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Having a well-stocked first aid kit is important. Whether it is in your home or your car, having a first aid kit nearby is essential to be prepared for an emergency.

Good kits come in many different shapes and size and often have a variety of different items. There are many places where you can purchase complete first aid kits. (We even sell them at our corporate office if you are interested in purchasing one.)

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But whether you purchase your kit or choose to make one yourself, it is important that you make sure it contains a few essentials.

Make sure your first aid kit contains these five items:

Antiseptic Wipes

Antiseptic wipes help to reduce the risk of infection and expedite the healing process. They are ideal for cleaning wounds when rubbing alcohol is not available. These wipes usually come in small individual packets and the single-use design helps eliminate the worry of cross contamination.

Bandages

Adhesive bandages should be a part of any first aid kit. They can be used to cover a wound and protect it from dirt, water, and germs that could cause an infection.

Latex Gloves

If a victim is bleeding, it is necessary that you create a barrier between your hands and the victim’s wound to prevent yourself from coming into contact with their blood. Putting on gloves is one of the first things you should do when helping a victim. Having a spare pair of latex gloves will ensure that you are always protected.

Gauze Pads

Gauze pads are sterile, absorbent pieces of cloth or polyester that help clean wounds and reduce the risk of infection. Gauze can also be used to stop excessive bleeding, and the pads are able to cover larger wounds than a bandage.

Breathing Barrier

If CPR has to be performed, you will want to have a breathing barrier available in your first aid kit. This barrier protects the rescuer by preventing him or her from coming in direct contact with the victim’s mouth.

When putting together a First Aid Kit, make sure that you have included these items. This is the first step in being prepared for an emergency. However, having a properly stocked first aid kit is often not enough. It is also important to make sure that you have proper First Aid and CPR/AED training.

If you are interested in signing up for a Red Cross certified first aid class, visit our website for a list of appointments.