Water Safety Tips from the American Red Cross
The Outdoor Pools are Opening & Summer is Around the Corner!
For immediate release
The American Red Cross in Utah (Friday, May 22, 2009) — Many outdoor swimming pools open this Memorial Day weekend and summer is right around the corner. If you’re like most people, when the temperature starts to soar, you’ll be looking for the coolest place in town, the pool or the beach. But before you go, the American Red Cross in Utah wants to remind you that cool dip could leave you in hot water if you don’t practice water safety.
- 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. 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 or who appear to rely on inflatable toys for safety should use U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices (PFDs) whenever they are in or around the water. Everyone, including strong swimmers, should use an approved PFD when boating. When used properly, this lightweight plastic equipment can help save lives.
- Always keep basic lifesaving equipment by the residential pool and know how to use it. A first aid kit, cordless phone, phone list with emergency contact information, reaching pole and ring buoy with a line attached are recommended. First aid kits should contain plastic face shields, which can help prevent disease transmission In addition, the Red Cross recommends that pools be surrounded on all sides by a fence that is at least four feet high
- Swim in supervised areas only.
- Obey "No Diving" signs.
- Watch out for the "dangerous too's." Take a break at the point of being too tired, too cold, or too far from safety, too much sun, too little hydration, too much strenuous activity.
- Don’t mix alcohol and swimming. Alcohol impairs your judgment, balance, and coordination, affects your swimming and diving skills and reduces your body's ability to stay warm.
- Pack a “safety” bag for a day at the beach or lake. Water-proof sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher, water shoes to keep feet safe from the heat and sharp objects on land and plenty of water are musts. All containers should be plastic to prevent injuries from breaking glass. Also, a hat and sunglasses keep eyes safe from dangerous UV rays.
- Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts. Stop swimming at the first indication of bad weather.
- Learn Red Cross first aid and CPR. While the above tips can help prevent emergencies, it is important to know what to do if a situation arises. And all caregivers, including grandparents, older siblings and babysitters should have these lifesaving skills.
For photos, interviews and more information call Susan Thomas 801-323-7013About the American Red Cross in Utah: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; teaches lifesaving skills; supplies blood to 30 area hospitals; and supports military members and their families. The organization also provides emergency utility assistance and international family tracing services. The American Red Cross is a nonprofit organization, not a government funded agency, which depends entirely upon volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. Donate your time or resources to your local Chapter. Salt Lake Area 801-323-7000 or visit www.utahredcross.org, Provo Area (801) 373-8580 www.redcrossut.org, Ogden Area (801) 627-0000, www.redcrossutah.org.