Red Cross offers lifesaving skills for water-related activities

Summer weather is here, and with it comes relaxing days at the pool, lake and beach. To keep your time around the water safe and enjoyable, the American Red Cross has important tips for you to follow.

 Learn to Swim

The best way to safely enjoy the water is to learn how to swim, so enroll your family in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses. Basic water safety rules are also part of the course. You will learn how to tell if a swimmer is in distress or is drowning, and how and when to call for emergency help. You will also learn how to help someone in trouble in the water while keeping safe yourself.

To find classes for you and your family, contact your local aquatic facility and ask for American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim programs.

 Water Safety Tips

Red Cross is urging your family to stay safe this summer with these few simple tips:

Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.

  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
  • 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.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
  • If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
  • Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.

Additional water safety tips are available at

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