May is National Water Safety Month and the American Red Cross wants to ensure that every member of your family becomes water competent. This means being water smart, having swimming skills and knowing how to help others. Children and adults should learn to swim so they at least achieve the skills of water competency: be able to enter the water, get a breath, stay afloat, change position, swim a distance and then get out of the water safely.
Layers of protection are essential to help prevent drowning. Plan ahead for aquatic activities:
- provide close and constant attention to children you are supervising in or near water;
- fence pools and spas with adequate barriers, including four-sided fencing;
- learn swimming and water survival skills;
- children, inexperienced swimmers, and all boaters should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets; and
- always swim in a lifeguarded area.