Friday, June 25, 2010

Make this Fourth of July Fun and Safe! (Part 2)

What is it about the Fourth of July that makes you want to submerge yourself in water for extended periods of time? Oh yeah, it's that blazing Texas summer heat! But, before you take the plunge, check out these tips for keeping your Fourth of July swimming exploits safe!

    Swimming Safety
    Whether your favorite sun-and-fun locale is the pool, the lake or the beach, it’s important to stay safe both in and out of the water. The most important water safety measure is knowing how to swim. The Red Cross offers a variety of swimming courses designed to help anyone of any age and ability learn to strengthen their swimming skills. Additionally, the Red Cross offers CPR/AED and first aid courses as well. To locate swim lessons or enroll in a course, check with your local Red Cross chapter.

    • Enter the water feet first. Enter the water headfirst only when the area is clearly marked for diving and has no obstructions.

    • Adults should never leave a child unobserved around water. Practice "reach supervision" by staying within an arm's length of young children and weak swimmers while they are in and around the pool, lake or ocean.

    • Take frequent breaks (about once an hour) where everyone gets out of the water, drinks water, reapplies sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) and rests.

    • If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore. If you can't swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.

    • Watch out for the “dangerous too’s”: “ too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity.

    • Post CPR instructions and directions to call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number in the pool area.

    • Keep toys away from the pool when it is not in use. Toys can attract young children into the pool.

    • 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.

    Grilling and swimming are both great fun, but nothing says Fourth of July like fireworks! Check back later this week for tips on having fun and staying safe around fireworks!

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