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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Here in the natural state, getting outdoors for families often involves trips to lakes or streams.

Some family friendly destinations for kayaking, canoeing or rafting include the Little Maumelle Water Trail, the Buffalo National River, and the Spring River.

Though floating, kayaking, and rafting are great summertime activities, they can be dangerous if you act recklessly or fail to take proper precautions.

Heather Bennett from Little Rock Family shares some safety tips on how to keep the good times rollin' on the river:

1. Wear life jackets. Children 12 and under must wear a life jacket that is securely fastened while on board any vessel.

2. Bring along snacks and plenty of water

3. Wear sunscreen, a hat, and protective footwear

4. Pack a first aid kid just in case, and also bug repellant.

5. Know your physical limitations and the limitations of your children, and don't go on a long trip for your first float.

6. Check weather forecasts, and call an outfitter ahead of time to confirm that the river is currently safe for paddling.

7. If you go over in a current, keep floating until you can get out where it is safe. Swim away from the boat so that it doesn't wash down on top of you.

8. If you fall out of the boat in a rapid, do not try to stand up. Your foot can get caught on the bottom of the river and the pressure of the current could pin you down.

For more tips on paddling safety as well as laws for Arkansas waterways, click here.

This information can also be found on page 24 of this month's edition of Little Rock Family Magazine.

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