The beginning of fishing season and the arrival of warm weather and summer vacation inevitably draw people of all ages to the lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams of Wisconsin. Each year, May is designated National Water Safety Month in recognition of the importance of implementing safer water practices during the summer months. As your family takes to the water – whether its boating, floating, swimming, or what have you – make sure to keep these five safety tips in mind:
1. CONSTANT ADULT SUPERVISION.
Actively supervise children and non-swimmers around the water, even when lifeguards are present. Don’t just drop kids off. Avoid distracting activities such as checking email or social media.
2. LEARN TO SWIM.
No matter your age learning to swim is one of the best ways to be safer in and around the water.
3. LOOK FOR LIFEGUARDS.
Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
4. SWIM WITH A BUDDY.
Do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system.
5. WEAR A LIFE JACKET.
Adults and kids should always wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket while boating. Non-swimmers and inexperienced swimmers should also wear a life jacket at all times when in and around the water. Inflatable toys can be fun, but are not a substitute for U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. They might not be the most stylish accessory, but safety should always be your priority, and these life-savers are one of the most basic ways to stay afloat wherever the waters take you.
6. LEARN CPR.
Learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies by learning CPR.
National Water Safety Month is a joint effort of the American Red Cross, The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, the National Recreation and Park Association, and the World Waterpark Association. Additional water safety tips and detailed information about National Water Safety Month can be found at nationalwatersafetymonth.org and facebook.com/watersafetymonth.