Everyone in town hasone thing in mind — how to stay cool under the hot summer sun. If you’re like most people, when the temperature starts to soar, you think about heading to the coolest place in town, the pool or the river or the beach.
But before you go, the Red Cross wants to remind you that a cool dip could leave you in hot water if you don’t practice water safety.
“We are all looking forward to a lot of fun with our family and friends this summer,” said Dan Kurtz, health and safety director of the Savannah Red Cross Chapter. “We just have to remember it’s not fun if it’s not safe. With a little planning and a few safety rules, we can all beat the heat and enjoy ourselves at the same time.”
Remember these simple tips for a great way to cool down in 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.
• Never leave small children unattended near water — not even the bathtub — not even for a moment! Adults should practice “reach supervision.” • Keep lifesaving gear handy. Always have on hand a lifejacket, rope, pole or other object that can be thrown to a person in trouble. Remember to have a first aid kit, cordless phone and emergency contact information by the pool.
• Know when it’s too dangerous. If you, or someone you are swimming with, appear to be too cold, too far from safety, been exposed to too much sun, or had too much strenuous activity, it is time to head for shore or signal for help.
• Eliminate temptation. Backyard pools should have self-closing, self-latching gates that remain locked when the pool is not being used Kiddie pools should be emptied and toys removed immediately after use. Empty water pails and buckets so small children cannot fall in and drown.
For more information on summer safety tips or learn to swim classes, contact: the Savannah Red Cross office at 651-5300 or log on to www.savannahredcross.org.