When temperatures heat up, a visit to the beach, lake or waterpark can be a great way to cool off. However, it is important to remember that accidents can happen while playing in or near the water. According to the World Health Organization, drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death globally.

Fortunately, there are many ways we can protect our families and ourselves from water-related accidents and injuries. Read on for some important water safety tips and learn how to help prevent drowning.

Always

  • Swim with a buddy
  • Never leave children alone—even for a moment—in water
  • Make sure there is a lifeguard present if you are swimming in the ocean or at a public pool or waterpark
  • Do not swim while impaired by alcohol or medication
  • Register your kids for formal swimming lessons to help protect them from drowning

At the pool

  • Make sure fences surround a pool on all sides and are at least 4 feet tall
  • Beware of safety covers for drains in pools that can entangle hair and hold victims under water
  • Do not dive in shallow pools
  • Make sure pools are clean so the bottom can be seen clearly
  • To supervise pool parties, assign at least one adult to watch the water at all times. Although the watcher should have a cell phone in case of an emergency, he or she should not be distracted by texting or talking on the phone. Be sure someone at the party knows CPR

At a lake or ocean

  • Make sure children wear appropriately fitted life jackets on boats and near the water, even if they know how to swim
  • Teach children how to safely swim in the ocean. They should be with a buddy, stay close to shore and only swim with lifeguards present
  • Teach children about riptides and how to swim parallel to the shore to get out of a riptide

While we are busy enjoying time at the pool or beach, injuries may not be foremost in our minds. Following these guidelines will help ensure that you and your family stay safe in the water this summer.