Summer is a time to make a splash! Taking a dip in the ocean, pool or lake is a fun way to cool off in the heat of the summer. But it is important to be safe too. Everyone should have basic water safety knowledge and skills to help them be safer and make good choices around the water
Unfortunately, tragic events where children and adults lose their lives to drowning occur all too often. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning every day.
As you head to the beach or pool this summer, the American Red Cross recommends you keep these safety factors in mind:
- · Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
- · Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
- · Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
- · Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
- · Maintain constant supervision.
- · Make sure everyone in your family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and learn-to-swim courses.
- · If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.
- · Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
- · If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
- · Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
- · Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
- · Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
- · Protect your skin. Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15.
- · Drink plenty of water regularly, even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.
Put water safety in the palm of your hands—download the Red Cross Swim App. The Red Cross Swim App promotes water safety education and helps parents and caregivers of young people learning how to swim. The app has features specifically designed for children, including a variety of kid-friendly games, videos and quizzes. People can download the app for free by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in their app store or at www.redcross.org/apps.