Learning Center

Water Safety Tips for Kids

Keep the kids safe around pools and waterways

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Water and kids are a fun combination. Unfortunately, this mix can quickly turn deadly without the proper supervision and training.

About ten people die every day from unintentional drowning, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Of these, two are children 14 or younger. Many of these accidents happen in swimming pools or natural waterways.

A child can also drown in just one inch of water. That’s why wading pools, buckets, toilets and bathtubs can also create unsafe situations for kids.

In the time it takes to cross the room for a towel, a child in a bathtub can quickly become submerged, according to American Family Children’s Hospital. In the two minutes it takes a parent to answer the phone, a child can lose consciousness under water. And in five minutes — about the amount of time it takes to sign for a package at the front door — a child could sustain permanent brain damage.

Water safety at home

American Family Children’s Hospital offers these tips to keep your children safe from water dangers at home.

  • Never leave babies or toddlers alone near toilets, bathtubs or buckets of water.
  • Keep a child within your reach around water, especially in bathtubs.
  • Empty all buckets, containers and wading pools immediately after use. Store them upside-down and out of a child's reach.
  • Lock the cover on your hot tub when it is not in use. Children can easily slip under the cover and drown.

Pool and beach safety

  • Always watch your children, even if lifeguards are present.
  • Don’t rely on flotation devices to keep your children safe. You must still keep an eye on them at all times.
  • If your child is missing, check the pool or lake first. Go to the edge and span the entire area, bottom and surface. Every second counts.
  • Children should never swim alone.
  • Teach children not to reach into the water for toys; they should ask a grown-up for help.
  • Enroll children in swimming lessons.