Water Safety Tips

With summer upon us in the Valley of the Sun, it is important to remind ourselves of water safety tips and how to keep our kids safe around water! Swimming is one of the biggest recreational activities during the summer, one of the best things you can do for your family is enroll in age appropriate swim lessons. You can contact your local Red Cross chapter to find lessons in your area.

Make water safety your priority!

  • Swim only in designated areas that are supervised by lifeguards
  • Never swim alone, not even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, always have a buddy
  • Ensure everyone in your family learns to swim
  • NEVER leave children 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/inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not ONLY rely on life jackets.
  • Establish rules for your family and enforce them. I.E., set limits based on each person’s ability, do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming under water or have breath-holding contests.
  • Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around ALL bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temps, currents and underwater hazards can make falling into these bodies of water dangerous.
  • When 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.

Prevent unsupervised access to Water!

  • Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub. Safety covers and pool alarms/locks should be added as additional layers of protection.
  • Make sure that pool barriers enclose the ENTIRE pool area and are at least 4-feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching and open outward, and away from the pool. The latch needs be high enough to be out of a small child’s reach.
  • If you have an above-ground or inflatable pool, remove access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever not in use.
  • Remove any structures that provide access to the pool. I.E., furniture, climbable trees, decorative walls and playground equipment.
  • Keep toys that are not in use away from the pool and out of sight. Toys can attract young children to the pool.

Maintain Constant Supervision!

  • Actively watch children whenever around water—even if lifeguards are present. Do not just drop your kids off at the public pool or leave them at the beach—Always designate a responsible adult to supervise.
  • Always stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions when supervising children around water.

Know what to do in an Emergency!

  • If a child is missing, check the water FIRST. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • 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.
  • Find and enroll in home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.

All these tips and more information on water safety can be found by visiting the Red Cross

There are several website dedicated to water safety. Below are just a few you can visit to learn more.

http://www.safekids.org/
http://www.redcross.org/
http://watersafety.usace.army.mil/default.htm
http://nationalwatersafetymonth.org/water-safety-tips