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Remember Safety Tips While At The Beach

Water Safety
...enjoy your summer fun in the sand.

It’s almost time for the Fourth of July holiday and many people will vacation at the beach. The American Red Cross offers some steps everyone can take to enjoy their summer fun in the sand.

If swimming in the ocean is part of your holiday plans, learn how to swim in the surf. Swim only at a lifeguard-protected beach, within the designated swimming area. Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards. While you’re enjoying the water, keep alert and check the local weather conditions. Make sure you swim sober and that you never swim alone. And even if you’re confident in your swimming skills, make sure you have enough energy to swim back to shore.

Other tips to keep in mind:

  • Have young children and inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.
  • Don’t dive headfirst—protect your neck. Check for depth and obstructions before diving, and go in feet first the first time.
  • Pay especially close attention to children and elderly persons when at the beach. Even in shallow water, wave action can cause a loss of footing.
  • Keep a lookout for aquatic life. Water plants and animals may be dangerous. Avoid patches of plants. Leave animals alone.
  • RIP CURRENTS Be aware of the danger of rip currents and remember the following:

  • If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore. If you can't swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
  • Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.
  • PROTECTION YOURSELF FROM THE SUN Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and wear broad spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15. Remember to drink plenty of water regularly, and avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. Wear sunglasses that will absorb UV sunlight to protect your eyes. And remember to protect your feet. The sand can burn your feet and glass and other sharp objects can cut them.

    Contact your local pool to find out when Red Cross swimming lessons are being offered. Download the new, free American Red Cross First Aid app so you’ll have information on how to treat everyday emergencies right in your hands. For more information on how to keep you and your loved ones safe this summer, visit

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at