Heading to your local beach or traveling to a romantic Caribbean destination? Follow these tips to make sure that you have a FUN and SAFE time in the water! These tips are good for kids and adults!
1. Stay in sight of the lifeguard station, if you can't see them, they can't see you!
2. Always swim with a buddy. Even if you are an experienced ocean swimmer, things can happen!
3. Know and understand your swimming level. Kids are actually better at this than adults! A swimming challenge can turn into an emergency fast. Remember, you are never too old to learn to swim, check your local Red Cross or community center for classes.
4. Drink water! Drink constantly! Swimming with the sun beating down depletes your hydration levels quickly. Being weak in the ocean is a recipe for disaster.
5. Speaking of drinking, alcohol and the unpredictable ocean do not mix. Skip the morning mimosas and order extra water.
6. Learn about rip currents; how to identify them and how to swim out of them. "Over 100 drownings due to rip currents occur every year in the United States. More than 80% of water rescues on surf beaches are due to rip currents." - United States Life Saving Association. To learn more click here
7. Frequently apply sunscreen. Read the directions and apply as instructed. Most waterproof sunscreens only last 40 minutes in the water.
8. Watch out for sea creatures. Shuffle your feet along and be careful. If you see a jellyfish, shark, etc.. tell a lifeguard immediately!
9. Know CPR and first aid. Make sure you stay up to date, emergency procedures are constantly changing and evolving. Find a CPR class nearby.
10. Make sure each child has a responsible adult watching them at all times. A child can drown in the same amount of time it just took you to read this article. So put your phone down when the kids are in the water. But still keep it close enough if you need to make an emergency call. The lifeguard can't see every little bobbing head at every second.