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March 20, 2015
Water Safety for Spring Break




Dear Family Travelers:


Look around.  There may be 1,000 kids aboard the big cruise ship this spring break, but not a single lifeguard.


That's not illegal. In fact, it's the industry norm. Disney is the exception to the rule, having lifeguards stationed at its pools and private island.


Don't expect to necessarily find lifeguards at resort pools or beaches either.  Laws vary from state to state and country to country.

That's why it is up to you to keep your kids safe in the water this Spring Break.  I realize no one wants to think about it but the Centers for Disease Control reports that every day two children die from unintentional drowning.  Those between ages one and four are most at risk.


The American Red Cross has developed a free Swim App that provides parents and kids with water safety tips as well as games.   They suggest teaching kids to swim as early as possible. 


If you are heading off on spring break with kids, especially young ones, forget reading by the pool or checking your email. You have to be especially vigilant around the water:

  • Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization devoted to reducing childhood injury, suggests you designate a "water watcher" for timed intervals to watch the kids so that one person always has their eyes on them and the others can relax.
  • Save your alcoholic drink for when you're not "on duty."
  • Stay within arm's length of young children at a pool or beach. They can get into trouble in seconds and can be missed in a crowded pool if they go under. 
  • Use Coast-guard approved life jackets. Air-filled "floaties" won't cut it. 
  • Make sure older kids who know how to swim always swim with a buddy.
  • Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents if you're at the beach.  Teach the kids that if they get caught, swim parallel to shore and once free, swim diagonally toward shore.
  • Sign up for a CPR class so that you can help in an emergency. 



And from our partners at Family Travel Forum


 Find out what local and visiting kids have to say about nine great American travel destinations through our Kids' Guides Series from Globe Pequot Press. San Francisco and Denver just joined New York, Orlando, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and San Diego.


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