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Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Water and Sun Safety

Lifeguard station at beach

Water Safety

The beach is a great place to beat the heat and enjoy the great outdoors. To be safe while having fun always take the following precautions:

Learn to swim

Swimming is an important personal safety skill and a great way to stay in shape. Call 311 or visit our Swim Programs page to learn about our Free Learn to Swim program.

Swim only when lifeguards are present

Lifeguards are there for your protection. Follow their directions and all rules.

Swim with a friend

Drowning often involves single swimmers. A friend can signal for help if a problem develops.

Swim sober

Alcohol impairs swimming ability and is a major factor in drowning.

Supervise children

Watch children closely even when lifeguards are present.

Rip Currents

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 groins, 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.

In the event that one becomes caught in rip current, they should not panic. Rather, remain calm and begin to swim parallel to shore.  Once away from the force of the rip current, they can swim back to the beach.  One must not attempt to swim directly against a rip current - even a strong swimmer can become exhausted quickly.

To learn more about rip currents, read safety tips and information provided by the National Weather Service.

Sun Safety

A day in the sun can take its toll. The following tips will protect you from overexposure.

Drink water

Your body needs plenty of water to prevent dehydration on hot summer days. Pay special attention to children. They can become dehydrated more quickly than adults.

Use sunscreen

Sunburn is painful and unhealthy. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher and reapply frequently.

Protect your eyes

Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun?s ultraviolet rays.

Wear appropriate clothing

Wear light loose flitting clothing to keep cool and a hat to keep you shaded.


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