As many people head to lakes and pools in search of cool fun they need to keep in mind water and boat safety.
Drowning is the second leading cause of injury deaths for children younger than 15. For every child who drowns, four more are hospitalized for near-drowning. And kids aren’t the only ones at risk.
Make your summer safer with these water safety tips from the American Red Cross.
General Water Safety and Boating Tips
Learn to swim. The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim. This includes anyone participating in any boating activity. The American Red Cross has been the leader in swimming and lifeguarding since 1914 and has swimming courses for people of any age and swimming ability. To find out where to enroll, please go online to www.okredcross.org.
Always swim with a buddy; never swim alone. The American Red Cross has swimming courses for people of any age and swimming ability.
Swim in supervised areas only.
Obey all rules and posted signs.
Watch out for the “dangerous too’s” -- too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity.
Don’t mix alcohol and swimming or boating. Alcohol impairs your judgment, balance and coordination, affects your swimming and diving skills, and reduces your body’s ability to stay warm.
Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts. Stop swimming at the first indication of bad weather.
Know how to prevent, recognize and respond to emergencies. Learn CPR to help during an emergency.
Never leave a child unobserved around water. Your eyes must be on the child at all times.
Home Pool Safety
Install a phone by the pool or keep a cordless or cellular phone nearby so that you can call 911 in an emergency.
Enclose backyard pools completely with a self-locking, self-closing fence with vertical bars. Openings in the fence should be no more than four inches wide. If the house is part of the barrier, the doors leading from the house to the pool should remain locked and be protected with an alarm that sounds when the door is opened.
Never leave furniture near the fence that would enable a child to climb over.
Always keep basic lifesaving equipment by the pool and know how to use it. A pole, rope and personal flotation devices are recommended.
Keep toys away from the pool when it is not in use. Toys can attract young children into the pool.
Pool covers should always be completely removed prior to pool use.
If a child is missing, check the pool first. Go to the edge of the pool and scan the entire pool, bottom and surface, as well as the surrounding pool area.
For additional American Red Cross disaster safety and preparedness information or to make a safe, online contribution to help support American Red Cross Disaster Relief Operations, please visit www.okredcross.org. To contact your local Rogers/Mayes/Wagoner County Service Center, please call (918) 343-1803, and like them on Facebook at facebook.com/redcrossclaremore.