Top Swim Safety Tips for Parents of Young Kids to Prevent Drowning
7m read

Top Swim Safety Tips for Parents of Young Kids to Prevent Drowning

As the warmer months are approaching, it's vital for all parents to know how to keep their kids safe around water.

While temperatures are rising and summer break is upon us, parents should take time to educate themselves on water safety and how to keep a young child safe around bodies of water. Drowning is the leading cause of death for very young children, and swim lessons can be an important part of child safety when you have young kids.

Even parents of older kids should be aware of water safety, and adult supervision around pools and other bodies of water is always a good idea, even if you have strong swimmers. Parents of older kids may feel more confident stepping away from the pool area, but it is vital that all children under age 18 have parental or lifeguard supervision while in the water.

Understanding Water Safety Risks 

Boy Closed Eyes Holding Water Gun in Swimming Pool

Whether your kids are swimming in a backyard pool, a public pool, a lake, or the ocean, it's important for parents to be educated on drowning prevention and how to teach children about the importance of swimming safety. Even small inflatable pools can present a risk for a young child! Here are some important items to consider when it comes to water safety.

There Is A Higher Drowning Risk for Toddlers 

Baby in swimming pool.

Parents of young children: be aware of inexperienced swimmers and bodies of water. Drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1-4. A young child can drown in as little as one inch of water. In the United States, kids ages 1-4 have the highest drowning rates. Babies and toddlers need constant attention around the water, whether you have home pools or go swimming at a lake or beach.

Hidden Hazards of Open Water

An important aspect of water safety is to learn about the hazards of open water: rip currents, strong currents, and marine animals. Young kids should always be within arm's reach when swimming in open water.

Parents should understand the importance of how to protect children from accidents when it comes to open water. They should also pay attention to weather and water conditions, and advisories for non swim times. Teach kids to remain close by at all times, especially if your children are weak swimmers. It can be very hard to navigate strong currents, and being nearby your kids at all times can easily save a child's life.

Creating An Environment of Swimming Safety 

Swimming Pool Safety Fence

Fence and Secure Swimming Pools

An important part of swimming safety is to practice pool safety. Fencing can prevent many swimming pool drownings, especially when you have young children who are weak or inexperienced swimmers.

Pools should be fenced on all four sides, and the fence should be at least four feet high. A self caching gate can be a good tool for pool safety and can prevent unsupervised access to a backyard pool.

Remove or Fence Other Backyard Water Hazards

Backyard pools and public pools can present a danger when it comes to children, but other water features can be just as dangerous and even cause accidental death. Other water hazards to be aware of if you have young children are bird baths, ponds, water foundations, wells, drainage ditches, and irrigation ditches. It doesn't take much for a child to accidentally fall into a water feature.

Empty Water Containers Immediately After Use

Never leave open-top water containers unattended around your child. Completely empty any liquids in containers like buckets.

Block Unsupervised Access to Bathrooms

Another important location for water safety is the bathroom. The bathroom can be a risky place, even for toddlers. Parents should use safety latches or door knob covers to make sure their young kids don't have unsupervised access to the bathroom.

Supervision and Monitoring

When your little ones are around water, and especially when swimming in open water, be sure to give your kids constant supervision. Avoid doing anything that would distract you from paying attention to your kids, such as talking to other adults, scrolling through your phone, or watching television.

Assign a “Water Watcher”

Caregivers can practice swimming safety by assigning a "water watcher" during parties or gatherings at a pools or lakes. This designated person keeps eyes on the little ones at all times to make sure they are practicing water safety.

This person should be at arm's length of the children at all times, making sure they swim properly and that everyone is being safe in the pool or lake. The adults can take turns being the Water Watcher so that they don't become fatigued.

Use Touch Supervision in or Near the Water 

Kid swimming with mothers help

Stay nearby your child at all times, providing constant "touch supervision," whether your child wants to swim or they're taking a bath. Even better - get in the water with your child when they want to swim!

Water Safety Tips

Insist on "Water Watchers"

Whether your child is a strong swimmer or your little ones are weak swimmers, whether you use a life jacket or water wings, whether you're swimming at home pools or at the beach: kids need adult supervision.

Take Caution in Hot Tubs.

Hot tubs can be tempting when the weather is cooler, but the temperatures are not suitable for young children. You don't need to only swim in cold water, but water that is too hot can be a danger for children.

Know the Signs of Drowning

Drowning happens quickly, and a drowning incident is often fast and silent. Teach children water safety, but also learn the signs of drowning and "dry drowning," which happens after the child is pulled from the water.

Put Away Your Phone 

Family Showing Thumbs While Spending Time Swimming Pool Summer Day

Parents can do well by putting down the cell phone when the kids are swimming. Even if you've warned your child to stay in the shallow part of the water, a cell phone can be a huge distraction when it comes to supervising them.

Water Safety Tips for Parents

Be within arm's reach of young children who are swimming. Don't depend on life jackets and inflatable toys to save a child's life. Have a water watcher who can make sure children are being safe around the water.

Swim Lessons and Life Jackets

Get Swim Lessons for Your Child

Most swimming safety tips start with signing kids up for swim lessons. Learning skills like how to tread water can be life saving for children. Research shows that swim lessons teach kids, especially toddlers and preschoolers, swimming safety tips and skills that can help small children stay safe around water.

Use Life Jackets Near Lakes and Rivers

Kids should wear a coast guard approved life jacket when around natural bodies of water, like the ocean, rivers, or lakes. Make sure they fit properly and are put on by a responsible adult. Don't just buy a cheap life jacket online - make sure you buy one that is a designated coast guard approved life jacket.

Emergency Preparedness

Learn CPR

Taking a Red Cross CPR class can help parens learn more about swimming safety tips, how to be safe around a pool, and how to administer first aid when needed. If you plan on letting your child swim during the summer, it can be very helpful to take a Red Cross CPR or first aid class so that you are prepared for emergencies.

Consider Swim Lessons a Healthcare Priority 

Girl learning to swim with coach at the leisure center

Swimming lessons can absolutely make a difference in a child's life as they learn water safety in the pool. Swimming lessons especially benefit children ages 1-4, who are most affected by drowning.

Parents should not rely on life jackets and inner tubes to save children from drowning. Taking lessons can help give the child foundational skills for water safety, whether they are in a pool or at the beach.

Be Prepared to Respond in Case of Emergency

Parents should be prepared to respond to emergencies. If you know your child is going to swim this summer, consider taking a first aid class or child safety class before the first swim time of the season. Find a class put on through the Red Cross, whether virtual or in person.

Practice swim safety this summer. 

family having fun in a swimming pool

Don't rely on your children to wear life jackets or use inflatable toys to help them swim. Whether you are at the pool or the beach, knowing water safety is important. Follow these tips so your children can have a fun, safe summer! 

Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Kaitlyn Torrez

I’m Kaitlyn Torrez, from the San Francisco Bay Area. I live with my husband and two children, Roman and Logan. I’m a former preschool teacher, currently enjoying being a stay at home mom. I love all things writing, coffee, and chocolate. In my free time, I enjoy reading, blogging, and working out.

Your Cart (0)

Your cart is empty.

Explore our best-selling products