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Water Safety

The Red Cross is brimming with water safety tips to keep your family safe this summer. The most basic: Learn to swim! Take some lessons at your local pool. The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim. And always swim with a buddy; never swim alone.

The American Red Cross has swimming courses for people of any age and swimming ability. To enroll in a swim course, contact your local Red Cross chapter.

  • Swim in supervised areas only.
  • Obey all rules and posted signs.
  • Don't mix alcohol and swimming. Alcohol impairs your judgement, balance, and coordination, affects your swimming and diving skills, and reduces your body's ability to stay warm.
  • Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts. Stop swimming at the first indication of bad weather.
> More Water Safety Tips

Do you know how to stay safe around the water? Test your water safety skills by taking the Red Cross Water Safety Quiz!

Boating Safety

Whether you're the captain of a schooner or a passenger on a skiboat, following safety guidelines ensures your safety and that of other seafarers.

  • Be weather wise:
    Sudden wind shifts, lightning flashes and choppy water all can mean a storm is brewing. Bring a portable radio to check weather reports.
  • Bring extra gear you may need:
    A flashlight, extra batteries, matches, a map of where you are, flares, sun tan lotion, first aid kit, extra sunglasses. Put those that need to be protected in a watertight pouch or a container that floats.
  • Tell someone where you're going, who is with you, and how long you'll be away.
  • Then check your boat, equipment, boat balance, engine and fuel supply before leaving.
> More Boating Tips

Hiking and Camping Safety

Many families will head to our national parks and forests this summer to enjoy the great outdoors. But if you're not prepared to rough it in the woods, hiking or camping can be a rough experience. The best way to help guarantee a good time for all is to plan ahead carefully and follow commonsense safety precautions.

> More Hiking and Camping Tips

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