Water Safety Tips
As the weather outside begins to warm up, so do lakes, oceans, and our backyard pools. As options become available, it’s important to know how to keep you and your loved ones safe while swimming. Below are some helpful safety tips and guidelines to help everyone safe.
Backyard Pool Safety for Parents and Children
• Never swim alone, no matter your age or swimming ability.
• Teach children water safety tips and swimming skills as early as possible. American Red Cross WHALE Tales is a great resource.
• Install barriers around your pool or hot tub.
• Brief Babysitters on water safety, always emphasizing constant supervision. No cell phones or reading.
• Appoint a designated watcher at parties and social gatherings. If possible hire a certified American Red Cross Lifeguard.
• Pay close attention to weaker swimmers.
• Maintain constant visual contact with children in a pool or pool area. If a child is missing, check the pool first.
• Never allow a child in a pool without an adult within arms reach.
• Reach or throw aid to a distressed swimmer, don’t leave them.
• Keep toys not in use away from the pool and not in sight.
• Teach children to ask to go near the water.
Open Water Safety – Oceans, Lakes, Rivers and Streams
• Never swim alone, swim with a buddy in designated areas with a lifeguard present.
• Always avoid areas with moving water or rip currents Currents or waves can cause havoc to an unprepared swimmer. Stay Alert.
• When in doubt, GET OUT.
• Stay within your fitness and swimming capabilities.
• Always enter unknown water safely and cautiously.
• Only dive in water clearly marked as safe for diving, at least 9 feet deep with no water obstacles. NEVER dive head first into the surf.
• If you go boating/kayaking wear a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket.
Signs of a Distressed Swimmer
• A look of panic or anxiety.
• Flailing, doggy paddle or bobbing in the water with little forward motion.
• Distressed swimmers are able to wave and call for help.
• Be vertical, horizontal depending on support. Quick action is essential because the victim will tire quickly and panic will build.