Sunny warm weather means many people turn to a day of refreshing swimming fun at an Ohio State Park beach. Just as important as the fun is making the day safe and this is the focus of SwimSafe!, a beach safety program, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
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!
“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 lotions, beach toys and snacks, parents and adult guardians should take a high level of awareness along on any outing to a state park beach.”
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 parks system. Last year, more than 5.2 million people visited state park beaches and pools across Ohio.
Ohio State Parks are operated by the ODNR Division of Parks and Recreation.
The 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.