Water Safety

Although school is now back in session, the weather is still warm and many families may still be planning trips to the pool, beach, or lake. Here are some tips to keep children safe while having fun.

1) Make sure the pool has 4-sided pool fencing

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends 4-sided pool fencing that is at least 4 feet tall and has gates that are self-closing and self-latching.

2) Wear life jackets near water

Appropriate life jackets fit well and are approved by the US Coast Guard. The AAP recommends that younger children and people who cannot swim wear life jackets near water, and everybody (including adults) should wear them on watercraft. They also recommend keeping life jackets near water in case of emergency. 

3) Supervise children

The recommendation from the AAP is to have a designated adult (not an older child or sibling) always supervise children near water. Many accidents occur when adults do not expect the child to be near water; 69% of accidents in children younger than 5 years old occurred when the child was unexpectedly near water.  

4) Choose a pool, beach, or lake with a lifeguard

When looking for a site for a day of fun, be careful about choosing a place with a lifeguard.  

5) Enroll in swim lessons

The AAP recommends finding swim lessons that are appropriate to your child’s personal needs and developmental level. In general, swim lessons are useful for children older than 1 year old, and good swim lessons not only teach children to swim but also include safety training such as falling into water and swimming with clothes on.  

6) Learn CPR

If your child has a near drowning incident, performing CPR on a child before the ambulance arrives can improve their chances of recovery. Check out classes near you to learn CPR.

Check out AAP’s revised policy statement here to learn more tips and information on water safety.