Water Safety Tips for Kids

While summer is known for its splash-worthy fun in the sun, safety is essential in preventing water-related tragedies.

Keep kids safe this summer with these water safety tips from the Red Cross:

  • Enroll your kids in age-appropriate swim lessons.
  • Opt for designated, lifeguard-supervised swimming areas.
  • Don’t swim alone.
  • Teach kids to ask permission to go in the water, providing constant adult supervision. Never leave this responsibility to another child.
  • Establish and strongly enforce safety rules based on each child’s abilities.
  • Utilize life jackets with younger children/inexperienced swimmers, but don’t rely on them for safety.
  • Stay within arm’s reach of young children.
  • Don’t play “breath-holding contests” or allow playing around drains and suction fittings.
  • Always wear a life jacket while boating – even if you know how to swim.

Carefully maintain your swimming area:

  • Install (and use) barriers around pools and hot tubs.
    This includes safety covers, pool alarms, and self-closing, self-latching gates at least 4 feet high. Ensure doors open away from the pool and latches are out of the reach of small children.
  • Remove items that could provide access to the pool when not in use.
    This includes patio furniture kids could use to open safety latches, climbable trees, playground equipment, and more.
  • Clean up pool toys and keep them out of sight – and out of the water – when not in use.
    These items can attract young children to the pool.

Prevent recreational water illnesses:

  • Keep germs out of the water.
    Take kids for bathrooms breaks and check diapers every hour, washing your hands afterwards.
  • Keep chlorine and pH at appropriate levels.
    Free chlorine levels 1–3 mg/L and pH at 7.2-7.8 keep germs at bay.
  • Don’t swallow water you swim in.
    Make sure kids understand this includes letting pool water in their mouths, not just swallowing.

In case of an emergency:

  • Always check the water first when a child goes missing – seconds count in preventing disability or death.
  • Keep reaching or throwing equipment such as flotation devices close at-hand, as well as other important items such as life jackets, a cell phone, and first-aid kit.
  • Teach kids how and when to dial 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.
  • Take water safety, CPR, and first aid classes to better respond to emergencies.

Follow these simple water-safety guidelines, and you’re sure to have more fun in the sun this summer!