It’s sweltering hot. We know. But don’t let your desperation to cool down short-circuit your better judgment. Not all swimming situations are created equal, and some can get you into hot water when it comes to your health. Lakes, pools, and evencan be dangerous places that land you in the emergency room if you aren’t careful. So before you slather on the sunscreen and pack your beach bag, review this list of red flags. These six signs are clear warnings that what might look like a day of summer fun could spell big trouble.
If a pool’s water isn’t sparkling and clear, don’t even think about going in. Not only does this condition suggest poor maintenance, but lack of visibility itself poses a threat. Several summers ago, a woman died in a Boston public pool, and her body went undiscovered for two days—while swimmers and lifeguards used the pool like usual—because the murky water prevented anyone from seeing her. If the water had been clean and clear, she may have been spotted immediately and saved.