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  WATER SAFETY

  Water sports and recreation can be a lot of fun, and also a great way to cool off while enjoying the
  beautiful Missouri outdoors.  Before going swimming or boating, it's important to consider your personal
  water skills, as well as the skills of others that will be in your group.  Your physical ability like swimming
  and paddling skills can play an important factor in the type of activity you choose, as well as the duration. 

  Before heading out to the water, be sure to check the current weather conditions and river or lake levels. 
  If you are going paddling and the river is low, you may end up dragging and carrying your canoe.  If this
  happens, your group may wear out more quickly, and you  might want to consider a shorter trip.


  Remember to Bring:
  Life vests
  Sun protection such as sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, light weight long sleeve clothing
  Plenty of food and water
  Map of the area, and if possible, the course you will be taking
  First aid kit

  Safe Boating Tips:
  Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest, and make sure those in your group wear one as well
  Complete a Boater Education Course
  Get a safety/mechanical inspection for your boat
  Be aware of weather conditions before heading out
  Avoid alcoholic beverages
  Have a working marine radio and know how to use it
  Know your boat's capacity and how to properly load it
  Pack extra supplies including a first aid kit, batteries, flares, and water
  Never boat alone

  In the Water:
  Don't mix alcohol and swimming. Alcohol impairs your balance, judgement, and coordination
  Be familiar with river signs such as sandbars, rocks, and snags
  Your skills and experience have to equal the river and its conditions
  Stay away from canals and dams.  Currents and undertows can catch you off guard in these areas


  For more information about boating safety or to take the Missouri Boater Safety Education Course, follow
  the links below:

  Official Boater Safety Education Course 

  Missouri Water Patrol Boating Information

  U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Resource Center    

  Pool Safety
  Never leave children unsupervised in or around a pool or body of water
  Install a self closing gate around the pool
  Teach children water and swimming skills
  Install a pool cover to securely cover the water area
  Keep life saving equipment like a rope, pole or life preserver in the pool area