Summer finds most families spending time at the shore, the pool and at lakes. But even if your kids know how to swim, it’s still vital that you know these important water safety tips in order to prevent a tragedy.

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The American Red Cross is providing swimming safety tips that are smart, easy to follow and could save a life.

Designate a “Water Watcher”
Especially in large groups, adults sometimes assume that other people are watching the kids. The Red Cross suggests designating an adult to be “on duty.” When they’re wearing the card, their eyes are on the water. Download yours here.

Learn to Swim
Ensure every member of your family learns to swim so they at least achieve skills of water competency, says the Red Cross. That means being able to enter the water, get a breath, stay afloat, change position, swim a distance then get out of the water safely.

Get a Buddy
Kids should never swim alone and should always swim with a buddy.

Secure Pools with Barriers
Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time, says the Red Cross.

Don’t Leave Kids Unattended
This one is obvious but parents should also be aware to never leave kids in charge of each other around water.

Reach or Throw, Don’t Go
If someone is in distress, reach out a hand or throw a flotation device so that you don’t get in trouble, too.

Don’t Swim Against the Current
If you get caught in a riptide, the best thing to do is try to relax and float. Rip currents don’t pull you under, they pull you away from the shore.

Obey the Flags
Don’t swim at beaches or pools where the flags are red or where there is no lifeguard on duty.

Get Equipped
Make sure you have life jackets, throwing equipment, a first aid kit and a cell phone in case you need to call 911.

Enroll in a CPR Class
It could save the life of someone you love!

Follow these tips and you’ll be able to have a safe and fun summer in and out of the water.

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