Summer is here and that means everyone is going to be hitting the water, whether it be a lake, pond, stream or river. With all the great places Missoula has to keep you cool this summer, you want to make sure you have fun, but also stay safe. According to Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks here are the top safety tips when on or near the water.

It is dangerous to swim alone. Swim where there is a lifeguard on duty or swim with a friend.

Constant adult supervision is necessary when children are swimming or playing in or around the water. Don’t let distractions put your child’s life in jeopardy.

Never mix alcohol and water. It is especially important to avoid drinking alcohol while supervising children around water.

Take swimming classes for yourself and sign your children up too.

Most children who fall into water unexpectedly panic.  Your child is still in danger, even if they have taken swimming classes.

Learn CPR. It may be the only thing that keeps someone alive until emergency services arrive.

Air-filled or foam toys, such as water-wings, noodles, or inner-tubes are not a substitute for life jackets. These are toys are for fun only and are not designed to keep kids safe.

Jumping off cliffs or bridges is very dangerous as shallow water, rocks, and trees may not be visible from the cliff. If you feel the need to jump, never dive head first.

These are by no means the only water rules you should follow, but they are a good place to start.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of The University of Montana, animal lover and writer.


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