Swimming and other water activities are a great way to cool down and get some exercise this summer. But whether you and your family are taking a trip to the beach or are just spending some time around a pool, it’s important to observe some precautions to ensure that everyone has a fun, safe summer ahead.
Drowning is one of the most common accidents for young children. It’s estimated that nearly 300 children drown in swimming pools every year, with another 2,000 children ending up in the emergency room from near drownings. But water incidents aren’t limited to children.
Learning how to swim will make swimming a safer and more enjoyable experience for everyone in the water. Consider taking or enrolling your children in swim lessons — the American Red Cross offers several swimming and lifeguarding courses throughout the year. Knowing how to handle yourself in the water not only makes it safer for you, but stronger swimmers are also better equipped to handle others who may be in distress.
Here are some other important precautions you should follow to protect your children and yourself this summer:
- Never swim alone, regardless of age — teach your children to swim with a buddy
- Never drink alcohol during or just before swimming, boating or water skiing
- Keep lifesaving equipment by the pool and be sure there is an accessible telephone nearby
- Remove toys from the pool area when not in use – they can attract young children to the pool area
- Learn CPR, especially if you’re a pool owner or boater
- Don’t use air-filled swimming aids in place of life jackets for children
In addition to these tips, if you’re heading to the beach this year, choose swimming locations actively patrolled by lifeguards and visit the National Weather Service’s website to learn more about how you can avoid dangerous rip currents.
For even more tips, visit our Online Health Library or the American Red Cross website to learn more about how you and your family can avoid danger around the water. Here’s to a happy and safe summer of swimming!