Summer months are officially upon us, which means it’s time for fun in the pool. Although swimming can be a great form of summer fun and exercise, it’s important to take the proper safety precautions.

If you’re swimming in a pool, make sure that children are always being supervised. Even the most water savvy child can have an emergency. That means that a parent or guardian should always be present and engaged in the activities. Make sure to avoid outside distractions like phones and earbuds to ensure you’re aware of your surroundings.

Other precautions that can be taken are:

  • Keep an eye on children – even if there are lifeguards present; lifeguards are watching numerous children/adults at once, so undivided attention isn’t always on your child.
  • Teach children to ask permission to go into water.
  • All inexperienced swimmers – children and adults – should be wearing U.S. Coast Guard approved safety vests.
  • Always swim with another person using the buddy system.
  • Don’t consume alcohol or medication while swimming or near the water.

For environmental awareness, there are steps that you can take to ensure a safe swimming area:

  • If you have a pool, make sure to put a fence around it. This keeps children (and pets!) from falling into the pool. Make sure the fence is tall enough they can’t climb over it, and the bars are close enough together so that they can’t squeeze through them.
  • Stay away from any dangerous looking water. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • River currents
    • Ocean rip currents
    • Water temperature (too hot or too cold)
    • Shallow or unclear water
    • Hazards underwater (animals, plants, hazardous materials)

By following safety rules in public pools and taking individual precautions, you’re set to have a safe, cool summer!

For more information on water safety, and information on swim classes, visit redcross.org