With the summer days upon us, Ohio State Parks remind adult visitors to keep an eye on children in their charge when they go swimming. This is the focus of SwimSafe!, a beach safety program in its 11th year, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
Visitors are cautioned that many southern Ohio state park beaches have high water levels and are not considered to be safe for swimming.
“Safety is an important part of a fun family outing in our parks,” said David Payne, chief of Ohio State Parks. “Our SwimSafe! program is a reminder that in addition to packing sunscreen, beach toys and snacks, parents and adult guardians should take a high level of awareness along on any outing to a state park beach.”
To fully enjoy a safe outing at a park beach, follow these SwimSafe! tips:
- Keep a sharp eye on young children while they are in the water;
- Lakes are not swimming pools, the water is murky and you may not see where it becomes deeper, so exercise caution;
- Bring a cell phone to make an emergency call if necessary. Check before swimming that there is cell phone service in that location;
- Swim only in designated areas at the beach and the lake;
- Use the buddy system and designate one member of your party to remain on the beach to keep watch on the others while they are swimming;
- 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 you come to the beach;
- It can’t be said enough, keep an eye on the kids!
Ohio State Parks offer 78 beaches on 47 inland lakes in addition to nine beaches on Lake Erie. There are also 20 swimming pools in the state park system. Last year, more than 5.2 million people visited state park beaches and pools across Ohio.
Ohio State Parks are operated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation. ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.