Seven Tips For Swimming Safely

Red Cross spokesperson Connie Harvey shows kids the summer water safety basics.

(NAPSI)-Before heading off to the pool or the beach, be sure your experience will be a safe one.

Here are some safety tips from the American Red Cross:

  1. Children and adults need to learn how to swim and swim well. Nobody should ever swim alone.
  2. There should always be adult supervision whenever anybody is in the water. For young children, you need to maintain reach supervision-meaning an adult should always be within arms’ reach to be able to respond to any situation.
  3. When choosing safety equipment, make a family day out of it. Go to your local pool store and find a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Everyone should wear one when they go boating. Look for the Coast Guard stamp and be sure it’s the correct size for the person wearing it, which is designated by weight. Used properly, these plastic vests can help save lives.
  4. Establish safety rules for your home pool. A medical emergency can strike at any time. Safety rules should be posted. Put the rules on a plastic or plastic-coated sign so that they can stand up to the wet environment.
  5. At least one person in the household should be trained in CPR, including caregivers such as grandparents and babysitters.
  6. Keep a plastic breathing barrier for CPR near the pool. It can prevent disease transmission and allow you to provide help safely. You should also have a phone by the pool-a cell phone or cordless phone to call 911. Teach kids proper protocol for dialing for 911.
  7. Keep a ring buoy with a line attached nearby. You can use it to help someone in trouble in the water without having to go in the water yourself. Ring buoys are lightweight plastic, so even a child can throw them to save a life.
  8. When heading for the beach, remember to suit up properly. Wear a hat and UV protection sunglasses of at least 90 percent.

Water-proof sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher is a must and pack plenty of water in plastic bottles to avoid the dangers from breaking glass. Plastic water shoes help keep feet safe from the heat of the sand and help prevent cuts from objects in the water and on land.

Don’t litter: If you brought it to the beach, take it back with you.

For more information on learning to swim or on water safety, contact your local American Red Cross chapter or visit www.redcross.org.