American Red Cross offers advice to those swimming in St. Lawrence County this July 4 weekend
Thursday, July 3, 2014 - 5:32 pm

During the long Fourth of July weekend many people will spend part of their holiday at a pool or beach. The American Red Cross offers 10 suggestions to be safe while swimming.

A recent Red Cross survey found that eight out of every 10 Americans are planning water activities such as going to the beach, pool, waterpark or boating or fishing this summer, the group says. And one-third (32 percent) of all Americans plan to swim at a place without a lifeguard, according to Red Cross.

The Red Cross' 10 suggestions include:

1. Learn to swim and only swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.

2. Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.

3. Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.

4. Provide close and constant attention to children and inexperienced swimmers you are supervising in or near the water. Avoid distractions while supervising.

5. Limit the amount of direct sunlight received between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15. Reapply often.

6. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water regularly, even if not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine.

7. For a backyard pool, have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.

8. Secure the backyard pool with appropriate barriers including four-sided fencing.

9. Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

10. Never leave a young child unattended near water, and do not trust a child’s life to another child. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water. If a child is missing, check the water first.