Steps To Follow If Holiday Plans Include Fun In The Water

Water Safety
Learning to swim is the best step to take to be safe around the water.

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer and for many, plans include fun in the backyard or community pool. The American Red Cross offers tips folks can follow to have fun and stay safe while in and around the water.

SWIMMING SAFETY Learning to swim is one of the best steps someone can take to be safe around water. Almost two million people of all ages learn to swim each year through Red Cross programs. Contact your local Red Cross chapter and take the first step toward summer safety – learn how to swim, and get the facts about water safety, home pool safety, first aid and CPR classes. Other safety tips include:

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
  • POOL SAFETY It’s important to constantly supervise children when they are near water. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.

  • If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers.
  • 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.
  • Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
  • If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • The Red Cross and National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF) have developed an online safety course for pool and hot tub owners. Home Pool Essentials helps people understand the risks of pool ownership, how to maintain a safer and cleaner pool, what safety equipment is appropriate, how to prevent pool and hot tub entrapment hazards, and how to respond to an emergency.

    FIRST AID APP Another thing people can do is download the free Red Cross first aid app which puts expert advice for everyday emergency at someone’s fingertips. The free app is available for direct download from the Appleor Google Play for Android app stores.

    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 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 redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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