Following Water Safety Rules Saves Lives, Red Cross Says

Following Water Safety Rules Saves Lives, Red Cross Says

Following Water Safety Rules Saves Lives, Red Cross Says

Children can drown within five minutes, experts warn

SOURCE: American Red Cross, news release, May 2015

SATURDAY, June 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Once the temperatures rise, people of all ages cool off in pools, lakes or the ocean. But no matter how old you are, taking certain water safety precautions is essential, according to the American Red Cross.

Always swim in areas that are supervised by lifeguards. Taking a dip with a buddy is also safer than swimming alone, the Red Cross advises. Other water safety tips that all swimmers and parents should consider include:

  • Remind children that they need to ask permission before they go near water. If they do go swimming, children should always be under adult supervision. Be sure adults supervising children in and around water are not distracted. It's also important to make sure appropriate safety equipment -- such as a first-aid kit, phone and reaching devices -- are nearby. Do not make children responsible for the safety of other kids.
  • U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets could help keep inexperienced swimmers safe around water, but people should not rely solely on these devices for their safety. It's important to take lessons and learn how to swim.
  • Pool owners should make sure their pool is enclosed in a barrier. Children can drown in less than five minutes -- even when their parents are nearby. If a child is missing, look in the water first. When it comes to preventing death or devastating disability, every second counts.
  • Take a home pool and water safety course as well as a first aid and CPR course to learn what to do during emergencies and how they can be prevented. If an emergency does occur, know when to call 911.

Aside from taking certain water precautions when swimming, it's also important to consider sun safety. Avoid too much direct sun exposure between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. It's important to wear sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more about water safety.
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