There is nothing quite like spending time with you family down by the river. However, a fun family outing can quickly turn into a dangerous situation if you are not prepared and careful. Do you know how to help your family avoid an emergency? Do you have a plan in place for how to deal with accidents or incidents that may happen while you are in or near the river? Read on for some of our river safety tips that might just save the life of someone you love.

Never Swim Alone

No matter how strong of a swimmer you are, you are one accident away from serious injury if you are out at the river on your own. One of the best river safety tips available is never to go it alone when it comes to the river. The areas around a river can contain extremely slippery surfaces that can be hazardous especially to young children. Not to mention the hidden obstacles that may be below the water’s surface. It can be easy to unintentionally catch a foot or arm on a root, sunken tree branch, or rock which can severely limit your swimming ability. For families, it is advisable for parents to investigate the river area before allowing kids to explore it and to make sure an older child (16 or older) or adult is with them at all times.

Avoid Alcohol Around Water

While many people like to enjoy a nice adult beverage while on vacation, it is not a good idea to imbibe if you are going to be spending time near a body of water. According to the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia, “approximately 25% of adult drownings deaths each year involve alcohol, with 44% of these occurring near rivers, creeks, and streams.” Alcohol has been shown to impair judgment, encourage risk taking behavior, reduce coordination, impair reaction time, and lessen the effectiveness of CPR. All of these factors add up to the fact that avoiding alcohol is one of our most critical river safety tips.

Learn Lifesaving Skills

Our final river safety tip is to invest the time to learn lifesaving skills such as first aid and CPR. In the event of an accident or emergency, being able to administer aid until medical personnel arrives could mean the difference between life or death for someone you care about. There are a variety of local organizations that offer classes in these life-saving skills, and it is worthwhile to learn them. Additionally, it may be worth your time to learn techniques for rescuing someone in a river while remaining on shore.
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