It's important to remember how to be safe around open waters so that we can have good, safe fun all summer long. With these few tips, you can join Frannie and her friends in the water!
- Use the buddy system. Stay near your buddy and be sure to let someone know if you or your buddy is lost or needs help.
- In the same track as using the buddy system, make sure you stick together and stay close to the beach or shore where family, friends, or other adults can help you if you need it.
- Never drink the water from a stream, lake, river, or other water body you are playing in or investigating. Even if it looks clean, it might not be healthy to drink.
- When playing on the banks of rivers, streams, ponds, and lakes, make sure the ground is sturdy and won’t give way. Look for signs of erosion that might indicate loose ground.
- Pay attention to your surroundings. Is the ground or the bottom of the lake or river rocky? Is the current strong? Is the water level high or low? What is the forecast supposed to be today? Are there any fast moving boats nearby? These are very important questions that only take a few minutes to think about but can make all the difference.
- There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. Wear socks, long sleeves, and pants for hiking out to your favorite river or lake spot. Hats can protect you from the sun and bugs. Closed toed shoes can prevent rocks from cutting your feet. Flip flops are okay for the pool, but leave them at home for outdoor adventures.
- Know which plants are poisonous. Poison ivy, poison oak, and stinging nettles can all make you feel uncomfortable or make you really sick. Poison sumac and hemlock are not as common, but can also be a threat.
- Certain insects, such as ticks, mosquitoes, flies, bees, and hornets, can also ruin your nature experience. Dress properly and wear insect repellent.
- Respect the environment. Remember that you are a guest. Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints.
Have fun and stay safe!