Harvey's final rule is the most important: learn how to swim. The Red Cross and many local swim organizations offer lessons for children as young as 6 months old and their parents.
People should feel confident in whatever water environment they're in, Harvey says, whether it's a wave pool at a water park or a river with a strong current. No one should swim alone and, if possible, always swim under the watchful eye of a certified lifeguard.
Last but not least, if you do get yourself or a friend in trouble, know how to get help. Learn CPR and get training on an automated external defibrillator, or AED. Be aware of reach poles or buoys that can be thrown to help a drowning swimmer, Harvey says, and call 911 at the first sign of an emergency.