Wednesday, July 17, 2013

10 Safety Tips to Take You Through the Rest of Your Harbor Country Summer!

It’s hard to believe that we’re already in the middle of summer, but it’s great to know that there’s still much to enjoy in the Harbor Country towns of Lakeside, New Buffalo, Union Pier, Grand Beach, Harbert, Three Oaks and Sawyer!  Out of town guests have been enjoying their beautiful vacation homes along the Lake Michigan Shoreline, and those that call Harbor Country “home” have been soaking in the long summer season.  

While there are a number of things to do in the summer throughout the area such as hitting the hiking and biking trails, fishing, shopping, experiencing local attractions and trying out local restaurants; our beaches are what tend to draw people in year after year.  

Because of this, we wanted to take time to point out ten lake safety tips that you’ll want to keep in mind as you finish out the summer months.  As Prudential Rubloff Real Estate agents and advisors serving the Harbor Country area, we want to help make your entire experience as enjoyable as possible.  We’re not just here to help with buying or selling a home, but to give you a greater understanding of the lifestyle and help you get the most out of your time on our shores.

Safety is always a key issue in the summer and taking note of these ten tips will allow you to enjoy our Harbor Country beaches to the fullest.  

10 Lake Safety Tips:
1. Supervision – Never turn your back on your child around water. It takes just seconds for a child to be in serious trouble. If you have children swimming in Lake Michigan; it’s important to have at least one adult watching them at all times. Segment the supervision responsibilities so there are never questions about which adult is “on duty”.
2.  Bright Colors – Dress your child in bright colors when going to the lake or a more crowded area around Harbor Country. Use a bright color so all family members have a consistent image of what the child is wearing.
3.  Pictures – When venturing out to any of the activities on or around Lake Michigan; make sure you have a recent picture of each child in your group.  This way, if one of the children wanders off, you have a reference to show people when asking about the child.
4.  Cell Phones – Your cell phone is VERY important. You may want to protect it from the water by putting it in plastic bag, but make sure you always have it on you and completely charged.
5.  Survival Swimming – Before the children begin swimming in Lake Michigan, be sure to go over the basic survival tips in case they were to go unnoticed in the lake and need help.  Go through treading water techniques and a system of signaling for help if they find themselves in trouble. It may be a good idea to attach a whistle to a bracelet for each child to wear in the water. Self-Rescue swimming is an added layer of protection.
6.  Dock Safety – Have a hook, rope and throw ring attached to the dock that can be used at a moments notice. Teach and practice their use and make sure each child understand the importance of using them only in times of emergency and not as a toy.
7.  Rope off a wading/swimming area – Begin at the shore and extend a rope out to a depth of your choice. Allow your children to swim off of the shore ONLY in this area. It reduces where you might have to search, and provides a safe limit that makes everyone more comfortable.  If you aren’t able to rope off the area, be sure to have a marker such as a buoy to give guidelines. 
8.  Go no further line – Paint a ‘go no further line’ 2.5 feet in from all edges of the dock. Teach young children to hold an adult’s hand between that line and the edge of the dock.
9.  Life Jackets – Life jackets must be worn in a boat at all times and around the water for children who don’t know how to swim. However, life jackets are not a substitute for adult supervision. When picking out a life jacket, please read the warning labels as some of them will not float a child face-up, and make sure the life jacket fits the child well.
10.  Floaties – Flotation devices such as floaties, inflatable rings, etc., can often times provide a false sense of security for parents and children. These items can easily deflate or fall off your child’s arm leaving them in a potentially dangerous situation.  While these are fun to play with and use, make sure you’re still taking every precaution for safety by watching your child.
Be sure to go over the safety tips and rules with friends and family before heading out to Lake Michigan.  While some of these items may seem basic, it’s good to have everyone on the same page to help ensure safety. 
We hope these tips serve as a good reminder for enjoying our beautiful lake for the remainder of the summer!
If you’d like to learn more about vacationing in one of the charming Harbor Country towns, or are interested in buying your own home along the Lake Michigan shoreline; please feel free to contact us today

Shoreline Property Advisors
@ Prudential Rubloff

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