Water Safety

Drowning usually happens quickly and silently, often when there has been a brief lapse in supervision. When a group of adults are together with a group of children in the water, everyone can be watching but no one is watching. There should be one designated water watcher among the adults so supervision is constant. After several minutes, another adult can take a turn watching so adults all have a turn to socialize.
  • Children younger than age 5 are at greatest risk for drowning.
  • Any standing water can be dangerous.
  • Around 1/3 of home drownings happen in the bathtub while most of the rest of home drownings are in backyard pools.

Basic Prevention Rules


  • Never leave children alone near water- not even for a moment.
  • Stay close enough to reach out and touch them.
  • Teach kids water safety rules.
  • Consider taking a CPR course.
  • Know that small children can drown in just an inch or 2 of water.
  • Don’t trust swimming lessons and bathtub rings to keep children safe in pools and bathtubs.
  • Empty all water from buckets, wading pools, diaper pails, tubs, etc. when finished using them.
  • Keep toilet lids down and locked and / or bathroom and utility room doors closed.

Swimming & Pool Safety


  • Never swim alone.
  • Even adults should swim with a buddy.
  • Swim only in designated and supervised swimming areas.
  • Keep a cordless telephone nearby for emergency use.
  • Pools should be surrounded by a high fence or wall on all sides of the pool.
  • The locking gate should close and latch by itself.
  • Never prop open the gate.
  • Use a pool cover, pool alarm or gate alarm.
  • If your child visits a home to swim, be aware of safety conditions.
  • Do not dive into a pool less than 9 feet deep or into a river, ocean or lake of unknown depth.
  • Do not swim under a diving board.
  • Teach kids to stay away from drains in pools and hot tubs.
  • Know that water wings and inner tubes are not substitutes for life jackets.
  • Wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket around open bodies of water, in boats and when doing water sports.
  • Children 16 and under should not drive jet skies.