Capital Area Chapter Blog

American Red Cross

Memorial Day Water Safety Tips

American Red Cross Lifesaving Water Safety Advice:

“Have Fun This Summer Without Taking a Vacation From Safety”


Editor’s note: American Red Cross expert Helen Michel can provide more information on keeping families safe in and around the water this season.  To schedule an interview, contact Helen  at 850-878-6080 or


TALLAHASSEE, May 22Summer is a wonderful time of year; Tallahassee children and parents look forward to outdoor activities at the pool, lake and beach.  Yet accidents can happen if families take a vacation from safety.  The good news is that most water tragedies can be prevented, if everyone remembers the basic rules of water safety.


The Capital Area Chapter reminds everyone to have fun this summer without taking a vacation from safety,” says Jessica Geib.  “These tips will help keep everyone healthy and safe in or around the water”:


  • Learn to swim and swim well.  One of the best things anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is learn to swim.  No one, including adults, should ever swim alone.  Adults should practice “reach supervision” which means to be within arm’s length of a child in case an emergency occurs. 


  • Outfit everyone with the proper gear.  Kids – and even adults – who are not strong swimmers or who appear to rely on inflatable toys for safety should use U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices (PFDs) whenever they are in or around the water.  “This lifesaving lightweight plastic equipment when used properly can help save lives,” says Jessica Geib.  Everyone, including strong swimmers, should use an approved PFD when boating.  Each person should have the appropriate personal flotation device for his or her weight and size, which is found clearly marked inside the label near the Coast Guard stamp.  “A great idea is to make a family day out of learning the rules of water safety and shopping for durable safety equipment together at a local pool supply store or mass distributor,” Geib suggests.




  • Always keep basic lifesaving equipment by the residential pool and know how to use it.  A first aid kit, cordless phone, phone list with emergency contact information, a reaching pole and a ring buoy with a nylon line attached are recommended. First aid kits should contain plastic face shields, which can help prevent disease transmission.  Cordless phones allow you to make that 9-1-1 call and to receive calls without leaving the area. 


“Plastic makes the ring buoy so light even a child can save a life if the need arises,” points out Jessica Geib  These items coupled with a pool emergency action plan—similar to a fire drill—help the whole family breathe a little easier.”  In addition, the Red Cross recommends that pools be surrounded on all sides by a fence that is at least 4 feet high.  It should not provide any footholds, which would allow a child to climb over or spacing to climb through.  The fence should have a self-closing, self-locking gate that is locked when the pool is not in use. 


  • Pack a “safety” bag for a day at the beach or lake.  “The properly packed safety bag will help ensure a fun day in which everyone comes home safe and sound.”  Water-proof sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher, water shoes to keep feet safe from the heat and sharp objects on land and plenty of water are musts.  All containers should be plastic to prevent injuries from breaking glass.  Also, a hat and sunglasses keep eyes safe from dangerous UV rays.


  • Learn Red Cross first aid and CPR.  “While the above tips can help prevent emergencies, it is important to know what to do if a situation arises,” says Jessica Geib.  And all caregivers, including grandparents, older siblings and babysitters should have these lifesaving skills.


For more information on staying safe in and around the water visit or contact the Capital Area Chapter at 850-878-6080. 




The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Last year, almost a million volunteers and 35,000 employees helped victims of almost 75,000 disasters; taught lifesaving skills to millions; and helped U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. Almost 4 million people gave blood through the Red Cross, the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work. 





2 comments on “Memorial Day Water Safety Tips

  1. Jane Goody
    April 24, 2009

    Not that I’m impressed a lot, but this is a lot more than I expected when I stumpled upon a link on Digg telling that the info here is quite decent. Thanks.

  2. Pingback: 48 Blogs that Offer Tips on Boating Safety |

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This entry was posted on May 22, 2008 by in Health & Safety and tagged , , , , , , .

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