Swimmers are generally some of the most fit athletes around. And because they spend their time cushioned in water, one might think that they’re less prone to injury than their pavement-pounding cousins. Swimmers may not experience the same knee and ankle problems as joggers, sprinters, and hurdlers, but they are susceptible to a whole host of other orthopedic issues unique to their sport, such as swimmer’s shoulder or extreme muscle cramps.
This summer, the physicians and staff at Eastern Oklahoma Orthopedic Center advise all patients to take caution in the pool and remember the following guidelines:
- Learn how to swim and do not swim alone. Always remember to swim in supervised areas where lifeguards are on duty.
- If you are too tired, cold, or overheated, do not attempt to swim. To avoid injuries and drowning, make sure you have the proper amount of rest.
- Alcohol and water don’t mix. Alcohol can not only affect your judgment, but it can slow down your movement and affect your vision. Excessive amounts of alcohol can weaken your swimming skills and can make you more prone to swimming injuries or accidents.
- Always be prepared for an emergency. It is important to have a plan in mind just in case that emergency situation comes along. Having access to a first aid kit or a way to reach medical professionals who are able to treat injuries such as concussions, dislocations, fractures, or sprains is always a good idea.
- Before heading to the pool, lake, or river, check the weather report. If the water seems to be rising, the currents may be too strong to handle. High winds and fog can also make it difficult for swimmers to be seen in emergency situations.
- Don’t forget your sunscreen and hat!
For more pool safety tips or more information regarding specific swimming injuries or treatments, please call Eastern Oklahoma Orthopedic Center at (888) 231-4422.