Be “WATER WISE” - Prevention is KEY!

To help prevent water-related injuries:

  • SUPERVISION - Designate a responsible adult to watch young children while in the bath and all children swimming or playing in or around water. Supervisors of preschool children should provide “touch supervision”, be close enough to reach the child at all times.  Adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity (such as reading, playing cards, talking on the phone, or mowing the lawn) while supervising children.
  • BUDDY SYSTEM - Always swim with a buddy. Select swimming sites that have lifeguards whenever possible.
  • AVOID ALCOHOL - Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or water skiing. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children.
  • LEARN TO SWIM - Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning. .  However, constant, careful supervision and barriers such as pool fencing are necessary even when children have completed swimming classes.
  • LEARN CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION (CPR) - In the time it might take for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could make a difference in someone’s life. CPR performed by bystanders has been shown to improve outcomes in drowning victims.
  • DO NOT USE AIR-FILLED OR FOAM TOYS - Do not use air-filled or foam toys, such as “water wings”, “noodles”, or inner-tubes, in place of life jackets (personal flotation devices). These toys are not designed to keep swimmers safe.

If you have a swimming pool at home:

  • FOUR-SIDED FENCING - Install a four-sided pool fence that completely separates the house and play area of the yard from the pool area. The fence should be at least 4 feet high. Use self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward with latches that are out of reach of children. Also, consider additional barriers such as automatic door locks or alarms to prevent access or notify you if someone enters the pool area.
  • CLEAR THE POOL AND DECK OF TOYS - Remove floats, balls and other toys from the pool and surrounding area immediately after use. The presence of these toys may encourage children to enter the pool area unsupervised or lean over the pool and potentially fall in.

If you are in or around natural bodies of water:

  • Know the local weather conditions and forecast before swimming or boating. Strong winds and thunderstorms with lightning strikes aredangerous.
  • Use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets when boating, regardless of distance to be traveled, size of boat, or swimming ability of boaters.
  • Know the meaning of and obey warnings represented by colored beach flags.  Different beaches may use different colors but a commonly used series include: Double Red denoting that the beach is closed to the public; Single Red signaling a high hazard (e.g., strong surf or currents); Yellow signaling a medium hazard; Green denoting calm conditions although caution is still necessary; Purple flown with either Red or Yellow signaling the presence of dangerous marine life (not sharks). (ref: - beach-safety-information-flags)
  • Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents (e.g., water that is discolored and choppy, foamy, or filled with debris and moving in a channel away from shore). If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore; once free of the current, swim toward shore.

Let’s put a STOP to Childhood Drownings by Working Together.