Post by Greta Gustafson, American Red Cross intern
As winter drags on, getting away to somewhere warm over spring break is top of mind for most students. As a college student myself, I understand the need to clear your mind with a beach vacation all too well. For many of us, this will be our first time trading our winter coats for bathing suits since summer, which means we need to take a minute to brush up on some beach safety skills before checking out the shore.
Whether you are piling your family into the car or a college student taking your first sans-parents trip, the Red Cross urges everyone to check out these spring break safety ideas before taking that long-awaited dive in the ocean.
Check the weather forecast and water conditions before going swimming or boating.
These last few weeks have been evidence that the weather can change instantaneously. Keep alert to any changes in weather while in the water. If thunder or lightening occurs, get out of the water as quickly as possible and stay out until at least 30 minutes after the last thunder clap or lightening flash.
If you go boating, wear a life jacket.
Most boating fatalities are due to drowning. Even if you are a strong swimmer, wear a life jacket as an extra spring break safety precaution.
Only swim in designated swim areas.
Swimming in the ocean takes different skills. Be aware of rip currents, which can be incredibly dangerous even for strong swimmers. Swim only at lifeguard-protected beaches within the swimming areas and obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards, as they are the experts in open water swimming.
Know what to do in an emergency.
If you spot someone in distress in the water, make sure to follow these drowning survival steps to help save a life without putting yourself in danger. Don’t forget to download our Emergency App for all other emergencies you might encounter!