Water Safety Tips

  • Never leave a child unsupervised around water! Constant supervision is the ONLY way to   ensure your child’s safety.  It only takes a second for a child get into a dangerous situation near water.  Drowning is a silent and a parent will not hear a cry for help once the child is underwater.  
  • If you must leave your child while he/she is in the water, designate another adult to watch your child.  Drowning often occurs while adults are present because the adults were not aware that the child was being unsupervised.  Never designate an older child to be responsible for a younger child.
  • Safeguard your pool with 4 to 6 foot fencing on all sides of the pool, with a self-latching, self-closing gate.  A pool alarm can be installed to add an additional layer of protection.
  • If your child is missing, always look in the pool first.  Every second counts!
  • Put all toys away when not in use.  These toys can be attractive to children and can be used as a platform to climb allowing them to get over the pool fence.
  • Floatation devices such as armbands, floatation rings, and inflatable toys give both the parent and child a false sense of security.  These devices can slip, shift, or deflate leaving your child in a very unsafe environment.
  • With infants, toddlers, and weak swimmers, an adult should be within arm’s length in case the child needs assistance in the water.
  • Distractions should be eliminated while supervising a child in the water.  Attending to something inside the home, answering the telephone, or turning your back on the child to chat with another adult can lead can lead to a very dangerous situation. 
  • A telephone should be kept near you when your child is in the water in case of an emergency.  Do not let yourself be distracted by talking on the phone while supervising a child.
  • Life jackets should be worn at all times on boats, and near fast-moving or deep water.
  • There are several types of water dangers that parents may not consider a threat, such as toilets, buckets of water, bathtubs, hot tubs, wading pools, ditches, or retention ponds.  Parents should be aware of these hazards and supervise accordingly.
  • When children are going to be out of your care at events such as summer camps, day cares, or pool parties, ask about the ratio of adults/lifeguards to children.
  • Keep the water level in your backyard pool as high as possible to make reaching the wall easier for little ones.
  • When at the beach, always set up near a lifeguard.  Also, always use the same color swimsuit for your child, so that if an emergency arises, you will know what color your child is wearing.  Carry a picture of your child wearing that swimsuit with you.
  • Children need to learn Self-Rescue™ skills such as holding their breath underwater, rolling over onto their backs to float, and swimming to  reach the wall or steps.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents consider swimming lessons for children ages 1 to 4 years old to reduce the risk of drowning.  The parent’s decision for when to enroll their child should be based on the child’s frequency of exposure to water, emotional development, physical abilities, and health concerns.

For additional safety tips from the Infant Swimming Resource, go to FAMILY ADVANCED AQUATIC SAFETY CHECKLIST.


Gulf Coast Swimfants, LLC

The Sooner.  The Safer.