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. Check out water safety videos from your favorites Olympic swimmers, Amanda Beard, Janet Evans, Jason Lezak and Mark Spitz, by clicking here. Listen to tips on learning to swim, following posted safety rules, watching children in the water, wearing a life jacket and more! Then, read through the following list for a few more important 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 & 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.

Most important? Be water aware! Know how to prevent, recognize and respond to emergencies.

For more information on how to stay safe in water, click here.

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