By Communications and Marketing Intern, Alessandra Pacheco
| All over California heat waves, new swimsuits, and big ocean waves are a huge part of having summer fun. Whether it be swimming at the beach or in the pool with family and friends, water safety may not be the first thing to come to mind— but it’s defiantly a topic that deserves our attention, especially this time of year! In fact, the Red Cross is currently working to help children in communities with drowning rates higher than the national average with its Aquatics Centennial Campaign.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury or death for children. However, with the Aquatics Centennial Campaign, one goal is to make swim lessons and water safety training available, accessible, and affordable in every community.
With the help of campaign sponsors and Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen program , the Red Cross is able to help provide swim lessons, as well as junior lifeguard, lifeguard, and swim instructor training— at little or no cost.
Whether or not you are able to enroll in a course, here a few tips to help make you’re time in the sun both safe and fun!
- Swim Safely
Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
Find a Red Cross Swimming or Lifeguard course, here.
- Life Jackets are Essential
If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
- Get Trained
Enroll in Red Cross water safety and/or home pool safety.
Take a Red Cross first aid and CPR/AED course to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies. Enroll here.
To date, with the Aquatics Centennial Campaign, the Red Cross has trained 891 junior lifeguards and 567 lifeguards, certified 533 water safety and basic swim instructors, and taught 3,600 parents and caregivers lifesaving water-safety skills.
You can learn more about how to stay safe around the water this summer and all through the year at: http://www.redcross.org/watersafety . You can also find additional info on the Red Cross Aquatics Centennial Campaign at http://www.redcross.org/centennialswim .
Alessandra Pacheco will be a Senior at Da Vinci High School. She hopes to become an accomplished author and editor, and enjoys watching basketball. This is Alessandra’s first year interning with the American Red Cross.