What are the tips for water safety?

Water activities offer fun and relaxation, but they also come with inherent risks. Ensuring safety in and around water is crucial for preventing accidents and enjoying these activities to the fullest. Here are some essential tips to help families stay safe:

1. Learn to Swim
Everyone in the family should learn to swim. The American Red Cross offers swim lessons for all ages, helping individuals develop water competency. This includes the ability to enter the water, get a breath, stay afloat, change position, swim a distance, and exit the water safely.

2. Supervision is Key
Always supervise children closely when they are in or near water. Designate a responsible adult as a “water watcher” who will maintain constant attention and avoid distractions such as reading or using a phone.

3. Use Barriers and Safety Equipment
Install barriers like pool fences to prevent unsupervised access to water. Use life jackets for young children and weak swimmers, especially in natural water settings like lakes and rivers.

4. Be Prepared for Emergencies
Learn CPR and first aid to be ready in case of an emergency. Knowing how to respond quickly can save lives. Recognize the signs of someone in trouble, such as struggling to keep their head above water or floating face down, and act immediately.

5. Understand Natural Water Hazards
Natural water bodies like rivers and oceans pose additional risks. Be aware of currents, waves, and underwater obstacles. Always enter unknown or shallow water feet first and avoid swimming alone.

By following these guidelines, families can enjoy water activities safely. The American Red Cross provides numerous resources, including swim lessons and safety courses, to help individuals and families become more water competent and prepared for emergencies.