The risk of drowning increases significantly if a lone swimmer has an injury or encounters a dangerous circumstance in the water.
Lifeguards are the best "water watchers," but they're not always accessible. Always have another adult there when you or your children swim.
Swimming in an ocean, lake, or river can bring frigid temperatures, currents, and underwater risks, so be prepared.
Drinking and diving is a swimming mistake. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance, coordination, watercraft safety, swimming skills, and body heat.
Don't jump into water you don't know how deep or what's underneath. Head-first diving into shallow or rough water can cause spinal cord damage.
Life jackets have saved even the strongest swimmers when a boat capsizes or they are stuck in a rip current.
There are a number of designated swimming places in public swimming sites, both natural and man-made, that are protected from boat traffic and free of underwater hazards.
Adults can learn water safety and CPR/AED skills from the Red Cross to better prepare them for life-saving situations. Taking a class will help you become more knowledgeable.
If you don't know the depth and safety of the water below, don't dive in the shallows of the pool or leap off the bank of a river. Flag warnings should be taken into consideration.
If you didn't swim as a child, start now. Everyone should learn to swim to avoid drowning (and protect their children).