Learning to swim is one of the best steps you can take to be safe around water. Almost two million people of all ages learn to swim each year through Red Cross programs. You can contact your local aquatic facility to find out when Red Cross Water Safety programs are offered.
Here are some steps you should follow to stay safe around the water:
- Swim only in designated areas supervised by lifeguards. Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
- Prevent unsupervised access to the water. Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub.
- Maintain constant supervision. Always stay within arm’s reach of young children even when lifeguards are present.
- Know what to do in an emergency. If a child is missing, check the water first. Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
- Have the appropriate rescue equipment, a phone, life jackets and a first aid kit near the pool.
Watch the Kids
It’s important to constantly supervise children when they are near water. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.
- If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers.
- Never leave a young child unattended near water, and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
- Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
- If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.