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Red Cross Water Safety Survey Highlights Need for Training before Summer Fun
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Red Cross
June 4, 2009

A recent American Red Cross water safety survey illustrates that nearly half of those polled nearly drowned in their lifetime. One in four people know someone who has drowned.

The same survey showed almost 100% of families with young children will be in the water at some point this summer, and half of them plan to swim in an area with no lifeguard on duty. More than 1,000 adults participated in the survey.

The Red Cross recommends people swim in areas with lifeguard protection.  In addition, adults should constantly supervise children no matter how well they can swim, how shallow the water or whether or not there are lifeguards.

The pools, beaches and water parks are open for summer fun.  Make sure your family members know how to swim and what to do in a water emergency.  Contact your local Red Cross chapter to find out which aquatic facilities in your area offer Red Cross water safety courses.

Always practice safe habits in and around the water.  In addition to swimming with a buddy in a supervised area, the Red Cross recommends you follow these simple tips:

  • Check the water first if someone is missing.
  • If someone is in the water and needs help, reach or throw something out to them - don’t go in unless you are trained.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
  • Enroll in Red Cross water safety, first aid and CPR courses to learn what to do.

The American Red Cross offers swim lessons for kids of all ages, starting with parent and child water orientation classes for children as young as 6 months to about 3 years old, preschool lessons for children about 4-5 years old, and learn-to-swim lessons for children about age 6 through adults. For more details, visit www.redcross.org.  

Details: Telephone survey of 1,002 U.S. Adults 18 years and older on March 20-23, 2009 conducted by ORC International

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at www.redcrosschat.org.

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