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American Red Cross Offers Water Safety Tips, Swim App and Training

American Red Cross Offers Water Safety Tips
By learning how to be safe in and around water, your family can enjoy a fun day at the beach or pool and help prevent potential drownings.

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C., Wednesday, May 25, 2016— Before heading out to the pool, lake, beach or waterpark this summer, people should make sure everyone knows how to swim and how to be safe when they are in, on or around the water.

“There are several simple steps that you and your family can take to make water safety a priority this summer,” said Louise Welch Williams, regional CEO for the American Red Cross in South Carolina. “By learning how to be safe in and around water, your family can enjoy a fun day at the beach or pool and help prevent potential drownings.”

CIRCLE OF DROWNING PREVENTION The American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council developed the Circle of Drowning Prevention with the ‘layers of protection’ that can help prevent potential drownings:

  • provide close and constant attention to children you are supervising in or near water;
  • fence pools and spas with adequate barriers, including four-sided fencing;
  • learn swimming and water survival skills;
  • children, inexperienced swimmers, and boaters should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets; and
  • always swim in a lifeguarded area.
  • SWIM APP The Red Cross Swim App promotes water safety education and helps parents and caregivers of young people learning how to swim. The app has features specifically designed for children, including a variety of kid-friendly games, videos and quizzes. People can download the app for free by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in their app store or at redcross.org/apps.

    RIP CURRENTS Rip currents are responsible for deaths on our nation’s beaches every year, and for most of the rescues performed by lifeguards. Rip currents can form in any large open water area, such as low spots and breaks in sandbars, or near structures such as jetties and piers. Swimmers should be aware of the following before swimming in waters that may have rip currents.

  • If you are caught in a rip current, stay calm and don’t fight the current. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore.
  • Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.
  • Check the conditions before entering the water. Look for any warning flags are up or ask a lifeguard about water conditions, beach conditions, or any potential hazards.
  • HOME POOL ESSENTIALS The Red Cross and National Swimming Pool Foundation® have developed an online safety course for pool and hot tub owners. Home Pool Essentials (HomePoolEssentials.org) 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.

    SWIM LESSONS People can find age-appropriate water orientation and Learn-to-Swim programs for themselves and their family members by contacting their local aquatic facility and asking for American Red Cross swimming and water safety programs.

    Additional tips and resources are available at redcross.org/watersafety.

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org/sc or @RedCrossSC.