Water Safety

NEVER LEAVE YOUR CHILD UNATTENDED AROUND WATER.

The Hard Facts:

  • Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between 1 and 4 years old. And it’s the third leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 19 and under.
  • In 2013, 77 percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those who drowned, 84 percent were not wearing a life jacket.

We know water is everywhere. So to make it easy, we divided it into three categories: Water in the home, swimming safety and boating safety.


    Water in the Home

  • Never leave your child unattended around water. We know it sounds strict, but there is no room for compromise on this one. Babies can drown in as little as one inch of water.
  • Put the cell phone away, forget about all the other things you have to do and give young children 100 percent of your attention when they are near or around water.
  • Empty all tubs, buckets, containers and wading pools immediately after use. Store them upside down and out of children’s reach.
  • Keep toilet lids closed and use toilet seat locks to prevent drowning. It’s also a good idea to keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed.
  • Parents have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be on the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind — and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better.
  • Swimming Safety

  • Actively supervise children in and around open bodies of water, giving them your undivided attention.
  • Don’t rely on swimming aids. Remember that swimming aids such as water wings or noodles are fun toys for kids, but they should never be used in place of a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD).
  • When there are several adults present and children are swimming, use the Water Watcher card strategy, which designates an adult as the Water Watcher for a certain amount of time (such as 15-minute periods) to prevent lapses in supervision. Download a Water Watcher card here.
  • Whether you’re swimming in a backyard pool or in a lake, teach children to swim with an adult. Older, more experienced swimmers should still swim with a partner every time. From the first time your kids swim, teach them to never go near or in water without an adult present.
  • We know you have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be on the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind — and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better. Local hospitals, fire departments and recreation departments offer CPR training.
  • Educate your children about the dangers of drain entanglement and entrapment and teach them to never play or swim near drains or suction outlets.
  • Boating Safety

  • Always have your children wear a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while on boats, around open bodies of water or when participating in water sports. Make sure the life jacket fits snugly. Have the child make a “touchdown” signal by raising both arms straight up; if the life jacket hits the child’s chin or ears, it may be too big or the straps may be too loose.
  • A large portion of boating accidents each year involve alcohol consumption by both boat operators and passengers. To keep you and your loved ones safe, it is strongly recommended not to drink alcoholic beverages while boating.
  • Infants and young kids are at a higher risk for hypothermia, so if you are taking a baby on a boat, just take a few extra precautions to keep your baby warm. If your children seem cold or are shivering, wrap them tightly in a dry blanket or towel.
  • We know you have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be on the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind – and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better. Local hospitals, fire departments and recreation departments offer CPR training.
  • Teach children that swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool: They need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.

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