High School For Health Professions & Human Services

Top 10 Tips to Be Water Safe

June 3, 2016


Dear Families and Staff:

As many of you know, New York City beaches opened on Saturday, May 28, for the summer season, and City pools will open on June 29. The safety of our students is our top priority and we want everyone to stay safe near and in the water. Below are tips from NYC Parks on staying Water Safe this summer. I also encourage you to visit their website at nyc.gov/parks for more information.


Best regards,


Robert A. Gentile



  1. Lifeguards Keep Us Safe

Lifeguards are there for your protection, so only swim where lifeguards are present, follow directions, and always swim with a buddy, friend, or parent.


  1. Learn to Swim

It’s never too early —or too late— to learn to swim! Learn about free and low-cost swim lessons by visiting the Learn to Swim page (http://nyc.gov/parks/learntoswim) or call 311 for more information.


  1. Never Leave Children Unattended

Teach children the importance of water safety and stay within arm’s reach while swimming. Never leave children unattended near water, even when lifeguards are present.


  1. Obey All Posted Signs and Flags

Read all signs and follow the directions of lifeguards. Swimming is only permitted in designated areas and never allowed when a red flag is posted at the beach.


  1. Watch for Dangerous Waves and Rip Currents

If you are caught in a rip current, do not panic. Rather, remain calm and begin to swim parallel to shore. Once away from the force of the rip current, swim back to the beach. Do not attempt to swim directly against a rip current - even a strong swimmer can become exhausted quickly.


Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from shore, which occur most often at low spots or breaks in the sandbar and in the vicinity of structures such as jetties and piers. All beachgoers should only swim in areas monitored by lifeguards, closely heed the instructions of lifeguards, and pay attention to any flags and posted signs. To learn more about rip currents, read safety tips and information provided by the National Weather Service (http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/).


  1. Stay Alert and Aware of Your Surroundings

Be careful not to swim tired, cold, or far from safety, and never use alcohol while swimming, boating, or supervising children near water.


  1. Wear a Life Jacket when Boating

Even expert swimmers should wear a life jacket while boating. Never use air-filled or foam beach toys instead of a life jacket.


  1. Don’t Take Unnecessary Risks

Never go wading unless swimming is permitted and be cautious of deep water. The first time you enter the water, ease in or walk in — do not jump or dive.


  1. Be Safe in the Sun

When at the beach, pool, or park this summer, wear sun screen, drink plenty of fluids, and wear light and loose-fitting clothing to stay cool.

    10.  Know Before You Go

Check weather conditions and get real-time beach opening and water quality information by visiting the Health Department's Beaches page (http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/environmental/beach.shtml) or call 311.