Swimming is a popular summer activity and can be a lot of fun for you and your family, but it is important to be safe. The best thing you can do to help your family stay safe is to enroll in age-appropriate swim lessons. Follow these other safety tips to be sure you and your family remain safe in the pool or at the beach!
While in the ocean:
- Only swim at a lifeguard-protected beach, within the designated swimming area. Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards.
- While you’re enjoying the water, keep alert and check the local weather conditions. Even if you’re confident in your swimming skills, make sure you have enough energy to swim back to shore.
- Keep a lookout for aquatic life. Avoid patches of plants and leave animals alone.
At-home pool safety:
- Install barriers around your home pool, adding safety covers and pool alarms.
- Ensure that pool barriers enclose the entire pool area, are at least 4-feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching and open outward, and away from the pool. The latch should be high and out of a small child’s reach.
- Remove access ladders and secure the safety cover when the pool is not in use.
General water safety:
- Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
- Never leave a young child unattended near water and 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.
- Do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings.
- Be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
- Jump in feet first, not headfirst. Check for depth and obstructions beforehand.
- Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination.
- If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
Know what to do in an emergency:
- Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
- If you own a home pool or hot tub, have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
- Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
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