With pools open and hot weather here, do you know the guidelines for water safety? People plan to enjoy the water this summer, but many are unclear on how to stay safe in the water. Even though nearly two thirds of the families with small children plan on swimming in areas without lifeguards this summer, many people don’t know the right thing to do in water emergencies or how to keep their loved ones safe in the water according to the Red Cross survey.
People tend to spent more time in and around the water during summer, so now is a great time to review water safety precautions, said Mary Franklin Red Cross volunteer water safety instructor trainer. According to the Red Cross, the survey found 63% of families with children plan on swimming in an area without a lifeguard this summer.
However, nearly half of those polled had never taken swimming lessons. Nearly half of Americans said they have had an experience where they were afraid they would drown, according to the survey. Red Cross officials say children and weak/inexperienced swimmers should wear US Coast Guard-approved life jackets and remain under constant adult supervision.
Correct steps to take when a swimmer needs help are a shout for help, reach or throw the person a rescue or flotation device and then call 911 dispatchers for help if needed. “People think they should enter the water to save someone, but often this endangers the life of the rescuer,” said Franklin.
The Red Cross encourages all household members to enroll in age appropriate water orientation and Learn-to-Swim programs.