Today marks the end of Water Safety Month, but UF offers swimming and lifeguard courses as well as some tips to teach students how to stay safe in the pool all year long.
The classes teach topics such as survival swimming, which is also known as treading water. It is the position swimmers take to float and breathe in the water for a long time without exerting too much energy.
The pools on campus tend to have the same amount of traffic they have year-round despite students going home for the summer.
“Summer is a big time for the pool,” said Emily Smith, a health science major and aquatics supervisor at the O’Connell Center pool. “Less people are in town, but more people are inclined to come to the pool.”
Some of the rules that guests tend to ignore are what you would expect, such as “no running on the deck” or “shower before entering,” which is important to the cleanliness of the pool.
“It makes a big difference in the safety of swimming because impurities can float to the surface and can get into your eyes,” Smith said.
Whether or not you decide to swim on campus, there are a few tips you should know in order to stay safe this summer. These include wearing sunscreen and sunglasses and avoiding over-exerting yourself, especially in oceans or rivers with strong currents.
Drinking water and monitoring your body temperature are also important but often overlooked.
“It can be easy to miss yourself overheating because you don’t feel yourself sweat,” said UF senior Kaitlyn Hansen, a lifeguard for the Student Recreation & Fitness Center. “If you have a headache, make sure you get out of the water and sit down.”
As hurricane season begins, prepare to see more rain and lighting, which can pose hazards to swimmers.
“If it begins to rain, and we cannot see the bottom (of the pool), we get everyone out immediately,” said Hansen.
She said swimmers are removed from the pool at the first rumble of thunder. They’re allowed back in 30 minutes later if there are no lightning strikes or thunder.
Adult swim class registration can be found by visiting rsconnect.recsports.ufl.edu/ or by going to Student Rec’s website. Adult swimming classes are taught Tuesdays and Thursdays at the O’Connell Center from 6:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.