Red Cross offers tips to stay safe in, on and around water

July 29, 2010

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. July 29, 2010

To make summertime safe, the American Red Cross chapters in Western Washington encourage people to follow some simple water-related safety tips.

Many people head to beaches, pools or lakes as the mercury rises. Red Cross experts urge boaters and swimmers to be prepared in, on and around the water.

For first aid and CPR classes in King County, call the Red Cross at 206-726-3534, or head to the organization’s website.

The nonprofit organization offers some essential tips to stay safe while beating the heat:

  • Learn to swim and swim well. Contact the American Red Cross for more information about learning how to swim.
  • Never leave small children unattended near water — not even a bathtub — not even for a moment. Adults should practice “reach supervision” — or stay within arm’s length — when a child is near water, in case of emergency.
  • Keep lifesaving gear handy. Always have a lifejacket, rope, pole or other object that can be thrown to a person in trouble. Remember to have a first aid kit, cordless phone and emergency contact information by the pool.
  • Know when the water is too dangerous. If you — or someone else in the water — appear to be too cold, too far from safety, have been exposed to too much sun or had too much strenuous activity, head for shore or signal for help.
  • Always wear a life jacket or vest when swimming or boating in lakes and rivers.
  • Eliminate temptation. Backyard pools should have self-closing, self-latching gates. The gates should remain locked when the pool is not in use. Kiddie pools should be emptied, and toys should be removed immediately after use. Empty water pails and buckets, so small children cannot fall in and drown.
  • Check local tides, currents and other conditions before entering open bodies of water.
  • Alcohol and water do not mix. Never drink alcohol while swimming or boating.
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