Discovery Point Blog

May 3, 2023
water safety

May is Water Safety Month

Summer is just around the corner, and children of all ages are looking forward to having fun and staying cool in the water. However, before the fun and games begin, it is important to consider what you can do to ensure your family’s safety in the water. 

Young children have a particularly high drowning risk, and drowning is actually the leading cause of death outside of birth defects in children between the ages of one and four. To make sure your child can safely make the most of their summer swimming, splashing, and spraying, take advantage of Water Safety Month to review safety techniques and have a crucial conversation with your family about drowning prevention.

7 Water Safety Strategies for a Safer Summer

Not sure where to start when it comes to making sure your child is safe in and around the water? Here are 7 strategies you can implement to form a comprehensive water safety plan. 

1. Get Started with Swimming Lessons

Enroll your child in swimming lessons as soon as they are old enough. Start with parent-child classes between the ages of one and four to begin developing water safety habits and swim readiness skills, and move on to basic swim lessons by your child’s fourth birthday. 

While they may not become super swimmers at this age, they can learn essential survival skills from floating to treading water and getting out of the water. Make sure they receive a refresher each year and continue to build their swimming skills every summer. 

2. Use Life Jackets On and Near Open Water

Even after your child has learned how to swim, they should wear a life jacket when they are near or out on open water, such as the ocean, a lake, or river. Whether they are simply playing on the docks, sitting in a boat, or inner tubing, insisting on this simple step can be lifesaving.

3. Make Adult Supervision Mandatory 

If your child knows how to swim and wants to play in the pool, it may be tempting to think they’ll be okay on their own. However, learning to swim doesn’t make anyone “drown proof.” Establish a family rule that children must have adult supervision when playing in or around the water.

4. Designate a Water Watcher

It’s easy to get distracted when you’re having a pool party or beach day. That’s why it’s always a good idea to designate an adult to act as a “water watcher” and keep their eyes on the kids at all times – even those who don’t plan on swimming. Adults can take turns sharing this responsibility to prevent fatigue and avoid the potential for distraction.

5. Opt for Touch Supervision with Little Ones

It’s possible for children to drown in as little as an inch of water, so keeping particularly young children within arm’s reach is key, not only when there are sources of water around outdoors, but also during bath time. 

6. Check Your Home for Water Risks

If you have a pool at home, invest in a fence with self-closing gates surrounding it on all sides. As for kiddie pools and buckets, empty them out immediately after use and store them upside down and out of reach. 

7. Learn CPR

Even after taking all of the above steps, it is still essential to know how to act in the case of an emergency. Learning CPR and basic water rescue techniques can help ensure you are able to respond promptly and without putting yourself at risk if a water-related accident occurs.

Whether you have curious toddlers or school-age children who want to spend the whole summer in the pool, taking the time to gain awareness about drowning prevention this Water Safety Month can give you peace of mind and help your children develop lifelong water-safety skills in the process.