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There are few things as well loved as summertime in North Carolina. Spending time outdoors on the water is a favorite activity for many North Carolinians, and it’s a great way to celebrate the season with friends and family. Whether you’re kayaking down rivers in the Western part of the state, boating on lakes in the Piedmont or swimming on the coast, you can’t go wrong with a long vacation or weekend getaway filled with fun activities on the water.

Enjoying time on the water does come with its dangers, however, so it’s important to remain cautious and always be aware of safety. Keep these 7 tips in mind for staying safe on the water this summer.

1. Establish Clear Guidelines

First and foremost, always have clear rules and guidelines set for your kids. If you’re at the beach, make sure they know they need to let you know or ask permission before they get in the water. For days spent on the boat, it’s important they understand any rules you have set around water skiing, tubing or simply being on the boat.

 2. Lather Up With Sunscreen

Make sure your kids (and the rest of your crew) are wearing sunscreen and reapply it regularly. All it takes is one bad burn to ruin the entire vacation, so it’s crucial to keep it on! Consider wearing a hat or light clothing to help protect from the sun as well. 

3. Use the Buddy System

No matter where you’re spending the day, be sure your kids use the buddy system at all times. Keeping an eye on them is also incredibly important, but making sure they have a buddy can help create even more reassurance.

4. Always Wear Lifejackets on Boats

Boating accidents can be incredibly dangerous, and it doesn’t always matter how safe you are behind the wheel. It only takes the mistake of one other impaired or negligent boater to cause an accident, so it’s imperative to make sure every person on the boat is wearing a life jacket. 

5. Check the Surf at the Ocean

Before you let kids swim in the ocean, check the surf report. If big waves or a rip current is expected, make sure the entire family stays out of the water. 

6. Take a First Aid and CPR Course

It’s always a good idea to have a first aid and CPR course under your belt—particularly if you have kids (or their friends) to look after. Knowing what to do as a first response is crucial for helping to keep others safe.

 7. Stay Hydrated

Spending time on the water has a way of causing us to forget we need to drinkwater to stay hydrated. Keeping cool in the water means we won’t notice dehydration as easily as we would by sweating in the heat. Have plenty of water packed in a cooler for the whole family to help avoid dehydration. Keep these 7 safety tips in mind for your family, and enjoy your time outdoors this summer!


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