July 4th weekend is the first big holiday weekend of the summer. That means a lot of people will be headed for the swimming pool, lakes or beaches for some fun.  The American Red Cross offers some important swimming safety tips for kids and adults....

Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.

Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.

Never leave a young child unattended near water. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.

Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water.

Maintain constant supervision.

Make sure everyone in your family learns to swim. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and learn-to-swim courses.

Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, life jackets, a cell phone, and a first aid kit on hand.

Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.

Protect your skin. Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive and wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15.

Drink plenty of water regularly, even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.

For more information, visit the Red Cross website or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).