Sailing, like most activities, does have some possible dangers. Knowledge, preparation and care, can help prevent most serious problems. Consider the following ideas when preparing for your sailing adventure.
Evaluate Skill Levels
Consider the experience level of those participating, age, strength and understanding of first aid. Going out on the community lake verses taking on the ocean are obviously opposite conditions. Getting in over your head can lead to inadequate skill and knowledge necessary for sailing conditions or unexpected events. Although most situations can easily be handled, such a scraps and abrasions, others take more judgement and knowledge. Having clear thinking, good judgement and experience cannot be overrated. Make sure those participating are able to handle the situations that may arise.
Everyone on a sailing vessel should have a life preserver, and wear it, especially children. The unexpected can always happen and being prepared for it could save a life. Falling from a boat and hitting your head can be very serious, even a good swimmer can get knocked out and a jacket will keep them a float. To help make jackets comfortable, fit them for the individual. If it is the right size, comfortable and a style that is preferred, it will be easier to wear. Although some situations are rare, one cannot rule out the possibility that they could happen. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Due to the nature of sailing, lots of water is involved! Sailing shoes will give feet grip on a wet deck and help with balance, control and walking around. A simple slip can cause a twisted ankle, bruises or pulled muscles that not only make sailing uncomfortable, but might cut a trip early.
First Aid Kit
Have a first aid kit on board and stocked, and check it before each trip. Small problems can lead to big ones if not taken care of properly and promptly. Clean cuts and wounds, use anti-biotic ointment and cover it well. Have pain medicine and other bandages as well as basic knowledge of first aid care. Instructions or directions would also be helpful on board, especially for possible dangers such as hypothermia. Sometimes in an emergency a person does not think clearly or quickly. Having information at hand will help handle the situation quickly and correctly.
Clothing and Sunscreen
Wind and sun can damage your skin and be uncomfortable. Wear clothes that protect you and help against these conditions. Those who frequently go out in the sun, over a long period of time, without sunscreen will be at a higher risk for skin cancer. Apply sunscreen thirty minutes before sun exposure and every hour or so while outside. A sunburn can occur even a cloudy day, so always protect your skin.
Although these suggestions are simple and basic, that is often why they are ignored. Following basic safety measures will help prevent serious problems and allow you to be prepared for the small ones that occur more frequently. By thinking ahead accidents can be avoided and small problems will be taken care of before they become big ones.