READYColorado Blog: Always Swim With a Buddy

Playing at a water park, by a lake or in a pool are all popular summer activities especially on a hot Colorado day.  Swimming is a great recreational sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, but it is important to know how to be safe while you are in the water. The American Red Cross and Safe Kids Worldwide offers these important swimming safety tips you should take into consideration before you head out to the lake or pool:

  • Always swim with a buddy. Do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water. Do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Always wear a life jacket. Require young children and inexperienced swimmers to wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket every time they are around water, especially when near a fast moving river. However, do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Learn to swim.  Make sure everyone in the family learns to swim. The American Red Cross and your local YMCA or recreation center offers Learn-to-Swim courses.
  • Secure your pool with appropriate barriers. 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.
  • Avoid distractions when supervising children around water. Stay off your cell phone and avoid the urge to check social media or send a text. Your child could disappear underwater in an instant
  • If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • Have appropriate equipment available.  This can be things like reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
  • Protect your skin. Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15.
  • Drink plenty of water regularly, even if you are not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.

These tips will help everyone stay safe while enjoying the warm summer months.

Source: American Red Cross and Safe Kids Worldwide