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Top 10 Water Safety Tips for Kids of All Ages

August 1, 2023

The content provided on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified expert with any questions you may have and to learn more about your child's specific needs.

Summertime is the perfect season to enjoy the outdoors with your family, and nothing beats splashing around in the water. But remember, safety comes first! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, water-related incidents can be a real concern, especially for kids. So, let's dive into some top water safety tips that will keep your little ones safe and happy while they have fun in the water!

Top 10 Water Safety Tips

#1: Always Stay Close By

Whenever your child is in or near water, it’s important that you are within arm’s reach. This rule applies whether they are taking a bath, swimming in a pool, or playing at the beach.

After your child has learned to swim for long distances and float on his back, you won't need to be right next to them, but you should always keep them in sight. Kids of all ages can become trapped underwater, or simply become too tired from swimming.

#2: Assign a Water Watcher

You’ve probably heard of water buddies, but have you heard of a water watcher? A water watcher is a responsible adult who’s solely focused on supervising your child, free from distractions like phones, family conversations, or alcohol consumption.

​​Making sure someone is actively watching over your child is super important because, as the saying goes, when you assume someone's keeping an eye on them, chances are no one really is, especially when distractions come into play.

#3: Install a Pool Fence

If you have a pool in your backyard, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to keep your child safe, especially before your baby starts crawling and/or becoming more mobile. A pool fence is one of the best ways to do this. The fence should be at least four feet high and have a gate that closes and latches automatically.

Using an inflatable kiddie pool instead? Make sure you empty all inflatable pools after swim time is over. Although you don't necessarily have to deflate the pools, they should be emptied so they don't contain any water.

#4: Stay Informed About Weather Conditions

Before heading out to the water, always check the weather forecast. Sudden storms or lightning can pose serious risks to anyone near the water. If there's a storm approaching, it's best to postpone your water activities for everyone's safety.

#5: Enroll Your Child in Swim Lessons

One of the best ways to encourage water safety is to enroll your child in swim lessons. Swim lessons will teach your child how to swim and float safely. They’ll also learn what to do if they find themselves in a situation where they’re struggling in the water.

#6: Learn CPR

In case of emergencies, it’s important for you to know how to perform CPR. If your child does get into the pool and start to drown, you'll need to act quickly. Knowing CPR could be life-saving in these situations.

#7: Teach Your Child Proper Water Rules

It’s also important to teach your child the proper rules for being around water. This includes not going into the water without an adult present, not diving into shallow water, and not running near the pool. Teaching them basic ground rules will help ensure best practices when it comes to water safety.

#8: Use a Proper Floating Device in Open Water

It’s important to use a life jacket or other flotation device when your child is in open water or in moving vessels like boats or jet-skis. The device should be U.S. Coast Guard-approved, and should fit snugly on your child. It’s also important to make sure that the device is properly secured so that it can’t come off.

Keep in mind that while U.S. Coast Guard life jackets are encouraged for swimming in open water, they’re not ideal for regular water play. Although life jackets do the job, they can also give children the impression that they can always float, regardless of whether the floats are on. This could lead to potentially dangerous situations if a child enters a body of water with a false sense of security. Likewise, many flotation devices keep children in a vertical position, which is actually an improper position to be in if a child were actually drowning or struggling in water.

#9: Remove Pool Toys After Pool Time

Kids are often attracted to pool toys, even when they’re not supposed to be near the water. If you have a pool in your backyard, it’s important to remove all toys from the area after pool time is over. This will help to keep your child safe by preventing them from trying to get into the pool area when they’re not supposed to be there.

#10: Create and Practice an Emergency Plan

Sit down with your family and discuss what to do in case of emergencies like someone struggling in the water or a poolside accident. Assign roles and responsibilities to each family member, including how to call for help, perform CPR if necessary, or provide assistance while waiting for professional help to arrive.

Regularly practice this emergency plan so that everyone knows exactly what to do if the situation arises. Being prepared can make all the difference and ensure a quick and effective response during critical moments.

With these additional tips, you can further enhance water safety for kids of all ages and make sure their water adventures are both fun and safe.

Author Bio

Madelyn Harris

Hailing from Southern California, copywriter Madelyn Harris has lived and worked in a number of domestic and international locations. Her favorite spots include Hoi An, Vietnam and Napier, New Zealand. She’s a big fan of Jeopardy, hot yoga, and the Oxford comma.