General Water Safety Tips

Here are some general water safety tips that you should follow at all times when you are on, in or around water:

  • Learn to swim and swim well. One of the best things anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is learn to swim. Enroll your children in American Red Cross Learn-to-Swim courses.
  • Always swim with a buddy; never swim alone. No one, including adults, should ever swim alone. Adults should practice “reach supervision,” which means to be within arm’s length of a child in case an emergency occurs.
  • Outfit everyone with the proper gear. Kids – and even adults – who are not strong swimmers should use U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices (PFD) whenever they are in or around the water.
  • Don't rely on substitutes. The use of flotation devices and inflatable toys cannot replace parental supervision. Such devices could suddenly shift position, lose air, or slip out from underneath, leaving the child in a dangerous situation.
  • Read and obey all rules and posted signs.
  • Watch out for the "dangerous too's”—too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, or too much strenuous activity.
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