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Swim Safely: Quick tips

Swimming is a great way for the whole family to get active. Follow these tips to stay safe in and around the water.

Swim safely.

  • Take swim lessons if you don’t know how to swim. Sign your kids up for lessons as soon as they are old enough.
  • Swim near a lifeguard and never swim alone.
  • Don’t drink alcohol if you are swimming or watching children.
  • Use floating toys like water wings and noodles for fun – not for safety. Don’t use them in place of life jackets.
  • Watch out for rip currents. A rip current is when the water pulls you away from shore. If you get caught in a rip current, swim along the shoreline until you are out of the current, then swim to shore.

Watch children carefully.

  • Make sure at least one adult is watching when children are in or around the water.
  • Don’t read or use the phone while you are watching young children.
  • Watch all children in the water, even if they know how to swim.
  • If you have a pool, install 4-sided fencing that’s at least 4 feet high and separates the pool from the house or yard. Use self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward and are out of reach of children.

Check water and weather conditions before going swimming.

  • Don’t swim in the ocean, lakes, or rivers after heavy rain. Water is more likely to be polluted after a rain storm.
  • Check for signs or warnings about bacteria or other pollution in the water.
  • Get out of the water right away if you hear thunder or see lightning. Strong winds can also be dangerous.

Protect yourself and others from germs in the water.

  • Try not to get water in your mouth.
  • Make sure everyone is clean before swimming. Shower with soap. Wash your hands after using the bathroom or changing diapers.
  • Take your kids on bathroom breaks or check diapers often. Change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area.

Protect your skin from the sun.

  • Wear plenty of sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15.
  • Put on more sunscreen every couple of hours and after swimming or sweating.
Swim Safely: Quick tips

Content last updated on:
January 30, 2014