Visiting a Lake This Summer? Stay Safe!

With summer here, families will soon be spending happy, sun-filled days frolicking at the many lakes found in and around The New River Valley. It’s important to be aware of any hidden underwater dangers at your local swimming hole. If you aren’t familiar with the area, do your research first to find out where the safest place to swim is located. Always follow the rules for swimming at each location and check out these safety tips:


You never know what may be lurking in the lake water. There could be a plethora of microorganisms just waiting to take up residence in your tummy. Untreated freshwater can contain some especially vile microbes, including the deadly, “brain-eating” amoeba Naegleria Fowleri. It is vital that you avoid letting the water get in through your nose as well. Every year a handful of Americans get one of these killers lodged deep in their sinuses by plunging into water without plugging their noses first. The amoeba infects the brain by working its way up from the nasal passages and there is not a lot doctors can do about it. This, of course, is a worst-case scenario…but the truth is you don’t want any of those nasty organisms in your body.


Even Olympic swimmers wouldn’t be able to prevent an under toe from pulling them under a rock or underwater cliff. A life jacket will keep you afloat and help you to pop back up to the surface should something be pulling you down. If you must wait for a boat to rescue you for any reason, you will be glad you have a life jacket so that you don’t have to tread water for an exhausting length of time.

Take note of the following:

  • A life jacket does not mean that adult supervision isn’t necessary. Always keep your eyes on your children when they are swimming/playing in water.
  • Be sure the life jacket is properly fitted for your child’s weight and age and that it has been approved by the US Coast Guard and tested by Underwriters Laboratories. This information will be on the label.
  • Teach your child to put on their own life jacket and how it is worn properly.
  • Inflatable water wings, toys, rafts, floats etc. should NEVER be used in place of life jackets.

    The 10 Best Kids’ Life Jackets for Summer Fun

If swimming in an area where there are boats, steer clear of the motor exhaust. Carbon monoxide fumes hovering on the surface of the lake can be deadly if inhaled as you are slipping under the water.  And swimming/playing around boats in water is just dangerous in general…so steer clear.


This cannot be stressed enough. Even the most experienced swimmer shouldn’t swim alone.  ALWAYS HAVE A SWIM BUDDY! 


Blindly running and jumping into a lake from a boat or dock looks like loads of fun in the movies, but in real life it is dangerous. Someone should always check the water for depth and debris before anyone takes a running leap. 


Many major lakes are subject to water quality testing, and if pollution levels are high, swimming may be prohibited. (SEE TIP #1) Signs may also be posted to warn swimmers about sudden drop-offs, strong currents, or other dangers.

Follow these tips and lake swimming this summer will be fun and safe for you and your family!

Are you thinking of buying a home or selling your current home in New River Valley, VA? Then it is time to contact Desi Sowers, your New River Valley, VA real estate resource! Give her a call today at 540-320-1328!

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