Share These Water Safety Tips with Your Children

ASHI and MEDIC First Aid Blog 

Summer months give families the opportunity for extra water fun at home, on vacation and out in the community. Unfortunately, the risk of drowning (and other injuries) also increases during this time of year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of injury death for young children ages one to four, and most drownings from this age group occur in a swimming pool. However, drownings can happen to anyone, at any age and at any time — even if your child isn’t expected to be near water.

Put simply, if there’s water, small children will find it. So, be sure to share these water safety tips with your children and provide frequent reminders to keep your family safe.


Teach your children to respect the water, whether it’s home pools, a body of water (e.g. lake or ocean), or their local community pool. We encourage you to use these tips as a starting point for conversations about the importance of water safety.

  • Swimming lessons save lives. Being a strong swimmer is vital at all ages. So, take swimming lessons seriously while also having some fun learning these essential skills.

  • Always swim using the buddy system. Even if you’re a good swimmer, there are many scenarios where you might need help.

  • Know your limits and listen to your body.If you start to feel too tired, too cold, too hot or like you’ve gone too far out, then take a break in a safe area.

  • Stay in supervised, designated swim areas and follow all safety rules. These are put in place to keep everyone safe, not to damper your fun.

  • Wear a life jacket when participating in water activities. This includes boating, water skiing, jet skiing, rafting, and fishing.

  • Pay attention to water currents. If you get stuck in a rip current, don’t fight against it. Instead, swim parallel to shore until you’ve passed through the current.

  • Don’t swim during bad weather. Look for signs of impending weather, such as dark clouds, change in winds, heavy rain, lightning and thunder. Never go swimming during a thunderstorm.

  • Look before you leap or dive. If you’re around shallow water or don’t know the water depth, don’t dive in as this can result in severe injury. Always enter feet first as water depths can often be deceptive.

  • Don’t jump in to save a struggling swimmer. A struggling swimmer can quickly put you both in danger. Instead, throw them a life vest or use a long object (e.g. pool noodle, rope, long stick, etc.) to pull them to safety if they’re within arm’s reach.

A few extra minutes spent going over important safety tips can make a difference in preventable injuries and drownings.

For more water safety information, check out our blog on backyard pool safety. Looking for first aid courses?