Expert Water Safety Tips for the Beach, Lake and Pool

Kids in water

Summer is here and it's time to cool off and enjoy the water, but The Doctors want everyone to be safe -- especially children -- and we share expert safety tips for the ocean, lakes, rivers, and the pool.

The risk of drowning is something everyone, regardless of their age, should be aware of when enjoying the water, but for American kids ages 1 to 4, drowning is the leading cause of death. CNN spoke to safety experts who share tips on how to stay safe in and around the water and we also detail what to do in the case of a water emergency.

At the Pool

The experts say one of the biggest safety concerns with a swimming pool is children being unsupervised and being able to access the pool unsupervised. They stress the importance of having a barrier or safety fence around the pool to keep kids safe. CNN notes the majority of swimming pool drowning deaths occur when a child gains access to the pool during a time not intended for swimming and when an adult is not present. In addition to barriers, the experts say life jackets and a first-aid kit should be readily available by the pool.

At the Lake and River

When enjoying time at a river or lake, always check the weather and water conditions ahead of time. If there is a designated swim area (preferably with a lifeguard), this is the best place to enjoy the water, particularly if you have small children. The experts note currents and rapids can be unpredictable and change. If you are caught in a wild current, it is suggested to float on your back with your feet pointed downriver in order to brace for things like rocks, sticks or logs. Also, if you are caught in a river current, do not attempt to stand up in the water, as your feet can become pinned or trapped at the bottom of the riverbed. While on a boat, everyone regardless of age is advised to wear an US Coast Guard-approved life jacket in case of an emergency.

In the Ocean 

Just like when you are enjoying time at the lake or river, it is best to swim in designated areas with lifeguards while enjoying the ocean. Before going too far out, parents should check the depth of the water to prevent injuries from jumping into shallow water or from steep ocean-floor drop-offs. If you are caught in a rip current (a strong and narrow area of fast-moving water, oftentimes common near piers and jetties), CNN's experts recommend swimming parallel to the ocean shore until you are out of the current and safe.

If someone is in distress in the water, the American Red Cross recommends:

Recognize the signs of someone in trouble and shout for help
Rescue and remove the person from water without putting yourself in danger
Call emergency medical services
Begin rescue breathing and CPR, and use an AED (or automated external defibrillator) if available
Transfer care to advanced life support, if needed

Another summer safety tip from The Doctors while enjoying the water -- wear sunscreen (and make sure you reapply it!) and get our list of our favorite sunscreens.

More: Movie Theater COVID Safety - What to Consider and How to Lower Your Infection Risk

More: Tips for Safer Swimming Pool Visits during COVID

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