Guidelines for water safety
The American Red Cross offers several tips to ensure a safe summer around water.
• Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
• Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system.
• Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses.
• 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.
• Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability, do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings, and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming underwater or have breath-holding contests.
• Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shorelines, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
• If you go boating, wear a life jacket. Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
• Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.
— American Red Cross