Red Cross Tips for a Safe Summer

Memorial Day is
the unofficial start of summer when all of us begin enjoying the outdoors and
sunshine. The American Red Cross wants everyone to have fun and offers the
following tips you can use to be safe all summer long.

  • Learn
    to swim well. Know your limitations. Everyone, including experienced swimmers, should swim with a buddy.
  • Teach
    your children to swim and make sure they follow pool safety rules and rules at
    the beach.
  • Adults should actively supervise children and stay within arm’s reach of young children and newer swimmers.
  • Never swim after drinking alcohol.
  • Understand
    how to help prevent and respond to emergencies around water.
  • Fence your pool in with four-sided fencing that is
    at least 4 feet in height. Use self-closing, self-latching gates.
  • Always
    wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when you are on a boat or in a
    situation beyond your skill level.
  • If you are in a
    location without lifeguards, such as a residential pool, designate a “water watcher”
    to keep a close eye and constant attention on children in and around the water.


  • If you plan to swim in the ocean, a lake or river, be aware that swimming
    in these natural bodies of water is different than swimming in a pool. Be sure
    you have the skills for these environments.
  • Never swim after drinking alcohol.
  • Watch out for and avoid aquatic life.
  • Swim only at a beach with a
    lifeguard and within the designated swimming area. Obey all instructions and
    orders from lifeguards and ask them about water conditions before you enter the
  • Protect your neck: don’t dive headfirst. Walk carefully into open waters.
  • Swim with a buddy and know your limitations (for example, have enough energy to swim back to shore).
  • If you are caught in a rip current, try not to panic. Signal to those on
    shore that you need assistance. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of
    the current. Once you are free, swim toward shore. 


  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when not in use.
  • Don’t add charcoal starter fluid after
    coals have been ignited.
  • Never grill indoors – not in your home, camper, tent or any enclosed area.
  • Keep the grill out in the open
    away from your home, deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch
  • Use long-handled tools made especially
    for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
  • Make sure everyone, including
    pets, stays away from the grill.


  • Be well rested and alert when you get behind the wheel.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Have a designated driver
  • Clean your headlights and turn them on as dusk approaches or in inclement
  • Buckle up. Also, make sure child seats are securely in place and that
    children are buckled in properly.
  • Observe speed limits and follow the rules of the road.
  • Don’t follow
    other vehicles too closely and use signals when changing lanes or turning.
  • Give your
    full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
  • Use caution
    in work zones. A lot of construction projects get underway on roads during the summer months.
The Red Cross Emergency app can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting
vital information in your hand for more than 35 different severe weather and
emergency alerts. The Red Cross Swim App promotes water safety education and
helps parents and caregivers of young people learning how to swim. The Red
Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most
common first aid emergencies at your fingertips. Download these apps for free by
searching for American Red Cross in your app store or at
Cross Apps
You can also learn first aid and
CPR/AED skills through our 
Red Cross classes to help save a life.