Independence Day is coming soon and many people plan to attend firework displays, a backyard picnic, or just enjoy the outdoors. Also, many people will enjoy the warm weather in the water, including pools, lakes and water parks. The American Red Cross recommends steps you should take to help stay safe around the water, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stay home if you are sick. If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities without wearing a mask or social distancing. Again, check state and local guidance.
If you are not fully vaccinated, stay at least 6 feet away, both in and out of the water, from people you don’t live with. Wear a mask when you are not in the water. Wash your hands often and don’t share items with people you don’t live with. Information on finding a vaccine is available here.
As you head back to the water, take it slow. Give yourself and children time to reacclimate to swimming and being around the water, especially in water that is more than chest deep. Swimming skills and fitness in the water could both be a little rusty for those who have been out of the water for the last year or longer.
WATER SAFETY Designate a “water watcher” to keep a close eye and constant attention on children and weaker swimmers in and around the water until the next water watcher takes over.
Water Park Safety
BEFORE HEADING OUT Download the Red Cross Swim app, sponsored by The ZAC Foundation, for safety tips, kid-friendly videos and activities, and take the free Water Safety for Parents and Caregivers online course. Additional tips and resources are available at redcross.org/watersafetyforkids.
The Red Cross also has these additional tips to help you enjoy a fun-packed, safe holiday:
DOWNLOAD OUR APPS. The Red Cross app “Emergency” can help you and your loved ones safe with real-time alerts, open Red Cross shelter locations and safety device. The Red Cross First Aid app provides instant access to information on handling the most common emergencies. Download these apps for free by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.
Follow COVID-19 Guidelines
Remember to review the latest COVID-19 pandemic guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with your family before you head out.
About the American Red Cross of Illinois
The American Red Cross of Illinois serves 12.4 million people in 88 counties in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri including Adams, Bond, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cook, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, De Witt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Green, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jasper, Jefferson, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Piatt, Pike, Putnam, Richland, Rock Island, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Vermillion, Warren, Washington, Whiteside, Will, Williamson Winnebago, Woodford. Iowa: Lee, Muscatine, Scott and Van Buren. Missouri: Clark, Lewis, Marion and Ralls. 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 us at Redcross.org/Illinois or visit us on Twitter @RedCrossIL.