COLUMBUS, OH - When packing up for the beach this Fourth of July weekend, Ohio State Parks urges visitors to keep a close eye on children and others in their group to ensure a safe and enjoyable day. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Fourth of July weekend is traditionally the busiest time on its beaches.
“Safety is an important part of a successful family outing to our state parks this holiday weekend or any time,” said Dan West, chief of Ohio State Parks. “Our SwimSafe! program is a reminder that a high level of awareness should be brought along on any beach outing.”
Each summer, Ohio State Parks initiates its SwimSafe! beach safety program, reminding adult visitors to take responsibility for themselves and the children in their care while visiting the beach.
To fully enjoy a safe outing at a park beach, follow these tips:
- Swim only in designated areas at the beach or lake;
- Use good sense and keep a close watch on young children while they are in the water;
- Use the buddy system and designate one member of your party to remain on the beach to watch those who are swimming;
- Exercise caution since lakes, unlike pools, may have murky water making it difficult to see drop offs;
- Bring a cell phone to make an emergency call if necessary;
- Take regular breaks and relax on the beach;
- Leave alcoholic beverages at home when you come to the beach. Swimming and drinking do not mix.
Ohio State Parks offer 66 beaches on 47 inland lakes in addition to 10 beaches on Lake Erie. There are also 17 pools within the state park system. Last year, nearly 4 million people visited state park beaches and pools across Ohio.