Be Water Aware

Courtesy of the World Waterpark Association

You can greatly reduce the chances of you, your friends or family becoming drowning victims or being injured if you follow a few simple safety tips:
  • Learn to swim. The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim. This includes both adults and children.
  • Look for lifeguards. Be sure the area is well supervised by lifeguards before you or others in your group enter the water.
  • Pay attention to kids. Make sure an adult is constantly watching young children swimming, playing or bathing in water. Do not do any distracting activities while supervising children around water.
  • Never swim alone or in unsupervised places. Teach your children to always swim with a buddy.
  • Don’t drink alcohol. Avoid alcoholic beverages before or during swimming, boating, or water-skiing. Never drink alcohol while supervising children around water. Teach teenagers about the danger of drinking alcohol while swimming, boating, or water skiing.
  • Spit it out. To prevent choking, never chew gum or eat while swimming, diving, or playing in water.
  • Avoid water wings. Do not use air-filled swimming aids (such as “water wings”) in place of life jackets or life preservers with children. Using air-filled swimming aids can give parents and children a false sense of security, which may increase the risk of drowning. These air-filled aids are toys and are not designed to be personal-flotation devices. After all, air-filled plastic tubes can deflate because they can become punctured or unplugged.
  • Check the water depth. The American Red Cross recommends 9 feet as a minimum depth for diving or jumping.
  • Watch out for the dangerous “toos.” Don’t get too tired, too cold, too far from safety, exposed to too much sun, or experience too much strenuous activity.
  • Note the weather. Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts. Stop swimming at the first indication of bad weather.
  • Use sunscreen. Apply sunscreen on all exposed skin to ensure maximum skin protection. Hats, visors, and shirts are recommended to prevent overexposure.
  • Don’t take risks. Don’t take chances by overestimating your swimming skills.
  • Wear a life jacket. Some facilities provide them for free. If you can’t swim, wear one. Make sure others in your group do as well.
  • Keep toddlers in shallow play areas. Zero-depth entry pools have water games, sprays and fountains with no appreciable water depth.
  • Follow age and height instructions at waterparks. Restrictions apply to many rides in a waterpark. Size and coordination is critical to safety inside open water flumes.
  • Read all posted signs. Follow the rules and regulations given by lifeguards. Ask questions if you are not sure about a correct procedure, especially at waterparks.
  • Watch water depth. When you go from one waterpark attraction to another, note that the water depth may be different and the attraction should be used in a different way.
  • Warn kids about swallowing park water. Chlorine and water pH readings are usually posted at large waterparks.
  • Use plastic swim diapers. Many parks require them. Note where changing areas are located and use these designated, sanitized changing spots.
  • Notice health restrictions. Guests with neck or back problems, heart conditions, prevalence toward motion sickness or pregnancy may not ride high-speed or rapid-descent rides.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control, 6 people drown in U.S. pools every day. For every person who drowns, 4 times as many people nearly drown.