Keep these seven water safety steps in mind:
- Learn to swim no matter your age. This is one of the best ways to be safer in and around the water.
- Always swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards and actively supervise children whenever around water. Do not participate in any distracting activities while supervising children swimming or playing in water. Remember, if your child is in the water, you should be too.
- Follow all the posted safety rules and make sure to read and discuss safety rules with children upon arrival at a water recreation site.
- Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket if you are a non-swimmer, are not comfortable in the water or are enjoying time in an open body of water.
- Never bring a sick child (especially a child suffering from diarrhea) to the pool and remind children to avoid ingesting water and to take regular bathroom breaks.
- Install barriers such as fencing, self-locking gates and pool alarms on backyard pools to prevent access by children.
- Apply sunscreen a half hour before going out into the sun for maximum absorption. Use sunscreen that is at least 30 SPF – and reapply every 2 hours.
Nearly all 50 states have issued Governor’s Proclamations recognizing May as National Water Safety Month. This level of support further confirms the importance and need for public education regarding safer water practices across the nation.
The National Water Safety Month campaign is a joint effort of the American Red Cross, The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, the National Recreation and Park Association and the World Waterpark Association. The month-long event is being celebrated by these organizations and thousands of aquatics facilities and professionals through educational programs, public service announcements, governmental proclamations, dealer and aquatics business promotions, and the distribution of water-safety-themed materials, aimed primarily at the public, and designed to help prevent drowning and water-related illness and injuries.
Additional water safety tips and detailed information about National Water Safety Month, for both consumers and businesses, can be found at www.nationalwatersafetymonth.org.