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Enjoy Water Activities Safely this Summer

girls swimming in water from AHS, August 14, 2023 @ 4:00 pm

Summer means it’s time to get outside and enjoy the weather. For many Albertans, that may mean time at the lake or by a pool or river.

There is always a risk of injury when you’re around water or swimming, especially in unmonitored bodies of water. Here are some ways you can prevent water-related injuries and illness:

  • Wear a Canadian-approved life jacket or personal flotation device in a boat and make sure it fits.

  • Young children should wear life jackets when they are in, on or around the water. Stay right beside your child and be aware of fast-moving water.

  • Swim with others when there is no lifeguard present and be cautious in open water such as lakes or rivers.

  • Avoid alcohol, cannabis and any other substance that may affect your judgment before and during water activities.

Lakes, rivers and streams may also contain disease-causing microorganisms or parasites that can cause allergic reactions (swimmers’ itch). Not all beaches are monitored for biological, chemical, and physical hazards. Check cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) advisories by visiting Active Health Advisories | Alberta Health Services or look for posted advisory signs at public beaches. Reduce your chance of getting swimmers’ itch:

  • Dry yourself with a towel as soon as you leave the water.

  • Avoid beaches where swimmers’ itch is a problem.

  • Wash your hands and rinse your body off after swimming or wading in lakes, streams or rivers.

  • Don’t wade or swim in areas with weeds.

Call Health Link at 811 for more health advice and information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In case of an emergency, visit your nearest emergency department or call 911.


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