1. Check in with the lifeguard on duty before heading in the water. The lifeguard will inform you of current conditions and any hazards that might affect you.
2. Enter the water feet first. Diving headfirst into shallow water can cause injury, so always check for depth and obstructions before diving.
3. Rip currents are the most common water hazard leading to swimmer distress. If you are caught in a rip current don't fight! Stay calm and swim parallel to shore and swim back to land at an angle.
4. Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water and avoid alcohol, which contributes to dehydration.
5. Know when to take a break. A few hours of baking under the sun can cause symptoms of heat exhaustion. If you start to get a headache, feel dizzy or fatigued, get out of the sun and heat.