With the arrival of swimming season, the American Red Cross reminds people of all ages to follow safety rules at the beach or pool.
Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards and always swim with a buddy. Everyone in your family should learn to swim well.
Young children and inexperienced swimmers should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets when around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone. Children should never be left unattended near water. And adults should teach children to always ask permission to go near water, the Red Cross says.
Keep a constant eye on children and avoid distractions when supervising kids around water. If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds can make the difference between no lasting harm and disability or death, the Red Cross warns.
If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers and have safety equipment, such as reaching or throwing devices, life jackets, a first aid kit and a cellphone, the Red Cross advises. Know how and when to call 911 or the local emergency number.
Take water safety, first aid and other training classes so you know how to prevent and respond to emergencies, the experts say.
The California Department of Water Resources has more on water safety.