Please note when bathing: Every body of water carries its own dangers

Please note when bathing: Every body of water carries its own dangers

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Where dangers lurk when bathing

Temperatures are rising and the bathing season is in full swing. But swimming is also associated with some risks. Every year several hundred people drown in Germany in lakes, rivers or in the sea. Experts from the German Life Saving Society (DLRG) explain where typical dangers lurk, because every body of water has its own pitfalls.

When it is hot, it gets crowded on the lakes and beaches in the country. However, some bathing areas can only be enjoyed with caution. And one prefers to take simple bathing rules to heart. All cooling is welcome in the summer heat, but DLRG warns that some bathing areas pose considerable dangers.

Quarry ponds are often very deep

"They are very shallow at first and suddenly go down very steeply," says DLRG spokesman Achim Wiese. "So you march in and suddenly you are under water." Inexperienced and bad swimmers can be in danger. The water temperatures in an excavated lake can also be extremely different. “28 to 30 degrees above the sun and already 80 centimeters lower, it is suddenly 10 to 12 degrees less. That can lead to cramps. "

Watch out for currents and ships in rivers

Your danger lies in the flow of water and shipping. “Anyone who goes swimming in the Rhine or other federal waterways is like playing with the kids on the highway,” says the expert.

Don't swim too far out in the sea

Here, the expert repeatedly observes that people swim too far from the shore and then find it difficult to get back to the beach. His advice: "On the coast you prefer to swim parallel to the shore and not just straight out."

Do not swim alone

In general, you should bathe in places where there is a lifeguard. And if no one is there and you're traveling alone, you'd better look for a place where other people are - that's how someone notices when you get into trouble. The DLRG spokesman also sees time and again that simple and actually well-known bathing rules are not followed - with sometimes bad consequences.

Get used to cold water slowly

Running heated up in cold water, for example, is not a good idea. "The body warms up while sunbathing, the veins stretch - and then suddenly contract when you hop into the water," Wiese explains. “This can lead to loss of consciousness or heart attack, and therefore to drowning. Seniors, in particular, should definitely get used to the water slowly. ”You can do this by holding your feet or arms carefully in the cool water.

Nothing in water on an empty stomach

It is better not to go swimming even on an empty stomach - this is especially true for people with diabetes. This could lead to hypoglycaemia, says Wiese, "and that is life-threatening."

The most important bathing rules of the DLRG

The most important bathing rules of the DLRG at a glance:

  • Cool off before going into the water.
  • Air mattress, hose and rubber animals offer you no security.
  • Immediately leave the water if you are freezing.
  • Do not bathe where ships and boats sail.
  • Only go for a bath if you feel comfortable.
  • Do not submerge others.
  • Only go into the water up to your stomach if you cannot swim.
  • Bathing is life-threatening during a thunderstorm. Leave the water immediately.
  • Only jump into the water if it is deep enough and free.
  • Do not endanger anyone by jumping into the water.
  • Don't overestimate your strength and ability.
  • Keep the water and its surroundings clean, throw waste in the trash can.
  • Never call for help when you are not really in danger, but help others when they need help.
  • Never go swimming with a full or completely empty stomach.

(vb; source: dpa / tmn)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • DLRG: bathing rules (access: June 25, 2020),

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