request info email to friend
Kids and Water Safety
When the weather heats up, kids want to head for the pool or the beach. And while swimming and boating are fun summer activities, it is important to keep an eye on safety. The American Academy of Pediatrics has some tips for keeping children safe in and around water.
At the pool
- Never leave a child alone for any amount of time in or around a pool. If a child is under 5, an adult should be within arm’s reach of the child at all times.
- Backyard pools, whether they are inground or above-ground, should have a fence at least 4 feet high on all sides. If one side of the fence is the entry to the house, make sure to alarm that door. Gates to the pool should open out and be at a height that children can’t reach.
- Don’t use “floaties.” They are not approved life preservers, and they might give a child – and the adult supervising – a false sense of security. If a child is over 1 and the parent believes the child could understand and benefit from swim lessons, that could help prevent drowning. But “swim lessons” for babies and children under 1 do not protect against drowning.
- If a child is missing, check first in any nearby pools or spas.
In open water
- Never allow a child to swim alone. Swim only at beaches with lifeguards or an adult experienced in water rescue and CPR. Stay within designated swimming areas.
- Don’t let children swim in fast-moving water. Be aware of the possibility of rip currents, and explain the dangers to children.
- Make sure that children understand they must never dive into water unless an adult has checked the depth of the water and made sure there are no underwater obstacles.
- Children should wear Coast Guard-approved life jackets at all times when they are on a boat or dock. Make sure that the life jacket is the right size for the child and is fastened correctly. Adults also should wear life jackets at all times on a boat, both for their own protection and to demonstrate the importance of safety.
- Children should not hang out of the boat or try to put their hand in the water while the boat is moving.
- Don’t take children on a boat if the driver of the boat has been drinking. And don’t go out on a boat yourself if the driver is drinking.