water

Ensure every member of your family learns to swim so they at least achieve skills of water competency: able to enter the water, get a breath, stay afloat, change position, swim a distance then get out of the water safely.

Employ layers of protection including barriers to prevent access to water, life jackets, and close supervision of children to prevent drowning.

Know what to do in a water emergency – including how to help someone in trouble in the water safely, call for emergency help and CPR.

Why Is Water Safety So Important?

It only takes a moment. A child or weak swimmer can drown in the time it takes to reply to a text, check a fishing line or apply sunscreen. Death and injury from drownings happen every day in home pools and hot tubs, at the beach or in oceans, lakes, rivers and streams, bathtubs, and even buckets.

The Red Cross believes that by working together to improve water competency – which includes swimming skills, water smarts and helping others – water activities can be safer… and just as much fun.

Swim Classes For the Entire Family

Red Cross swim lessons help children & adults gain water safety and swimming skills. Ages 6 months – adult.

Use Layers of Protection In & Around Water

Even if lifeguards are present, you (or another responsible adult) should stay with your children. Be a “water watcher” – provide close and constant attention to children you are supervising; avoid distractions including cell phones. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water. Children, inexperienced swimmers, and all boaters should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. Take specific precautions for the water environment you are in, such as:

Fence pools and spas with adequate barriers, including four-sided fencing that separates the water from the house. At the beach, always swim in a lifeguarded area.

What Does It Mean to Be Water Competent?

Water competency is a way of improving water safety for yourself and those around you through avoiding common dangers, developing fundamental water safety skills to make you safer in and around the water, and knowing how to prevent and respond to drowning emergencies. Water competency has 3 main components: water smarts, swimming skills and helping others.

Want to learn more about water competency? Check out Water Safety USA.

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