With the summer swim season in full swing, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources reminds visitors to keep an eye on their children. This is the central message of the department’s SwimSafe! program, which reminds visitors to stay alert and “keep an eye on the kids” while swimming at state park beaches and pools.
“Our SwimSafe! program is a reminder that in addition to packing suntan lotion, life vests and snacks to keep their kids safe and happy on their visit to the beach, the most important thing parents can do on their outing is watch their children while they are swimming,” said Ohio State Parks and Watercraft Chief Mike Bailey.
Most park swimming areas are designated “swim at your own risk,” and do not have lifeguards on duty. To ensure a fun and safe beach outing, the ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft offer these tips:
• Stay alert and keep a sharp eye on young children while they are in the water.
• Swim only in designated areas at the beach and lake.
• Use the buddy system and designate one member of the party to remain on the beach to keep watch on the others while they swim.
• Lakes are not pools. The water is murky, and it may not be visible where it becomes deeper so exercise caution.
• When planning a trip, check water quality advisories at Ohio Department of Health’s BeachGuard website at www.odh.ohio.gov/healthybeaches before leaving for the beach.
• Bring a cellphone to make an emergency call if necessary. Check to see if the phone works in that location.
• Enjoy the fun that water offers, but take regular breaks and relax on the beach.
• Alcohol and swimming do not mix. Leave these beverages at home when going to the beach.
• Remember—it cannot be said enough—keep an eye on the kids.
Ohio State Parks and Watercraft manages numerous swimming pools and swimming beaches at Ohio State Parks, including beaches along Lake Erie.
The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft is responsible for managing Ohio’s 74 state parks and providing the finest outdoor recreational opportunities, including first-class boat services, facilities and law enforcement for users of Ohio’s waterways and public lands.
ODNR ensures a wise balance between the use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all.