- Designate a responsible adult to watch all children in or around the water. Make sure your full attention is on the children at all times. An accident can happen in the few seconds you go to answer the phone.
- Always swim with a buddy.
- Swim at places with lifeguards when possible.
- Avoid alcohol while swimming, boating, water skiing, or supervising children around water.
- Learn to swim. Have all persons in your household take swimming lessons.
- Learn CPR. CPR performed by bystanders has been shown to improve outcomes in drowning victims.
- Do not use air-filled or foam toys in place of a life jacket. Water wings and noodles are toys and are not designed for safety.
Do you own a pool? If you do, you should:
- Install a four-sided, isolation pool fence that completely separates your living space from your pool area.
- Make sure the fence is at least 4 feet high
- Use self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward with latches that are out of reach of children.
- Consider installing an alarm on the fence that way you know when someone has entered the pool area.
- Remove toys in and around the pool area when they are not in use. Toys can be tempting to kids and cause them to accidentally fall in the water when trying to retrieve them.
Are you going to a natural body of water, like a lake?
- Know the weather forecast. Avoid swimming and boating during bad weather conditions.
- Use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets when boating.
- Know the meaning of and obey warnings represented by colored beach flags.
- Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents (e.g. water that is discolored and choppy, foamy, or filled with debris and moving in a channel away from shore). If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore; once free of the current, swim toward shore.
For more information, see the CDC website.