How to Prevent a Child from Drowning

Drowning is a preventable tragedy that can be avoided with some simple steps. Here are some tips on how to prevent a child from drowning, based on the recommendations of experts and organizations1234:

  • Never leave your child alone or in the care of another child in or around water. Always supervise your child closely and constantly when they are in or near water, including bathtubs, pools, lakes, rivers, and oceans.
  • Know how to swim. Swimming is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your child from drowning. Learn basic swimming and water safety skills, such as how to perform CPR and first aid. You can take formal swimming lessons from a certified instructor or learn from online courses or videos.
  • Have rescue equipment, such as a life preserver. A life preserver can help keep your child afloat until you can reach them or call for help. Make sure you have one for each child in the water and that it fits properly. You can also use other devices, such as flotation devices, inflatable toys, or vests.
  • Wear Coast Guard-approved life jackets when swimming in the ocean. Life jackets can reduce the risk of drowning by keeping your head above water and preventing you from sinking. They should fit snugly but not too tightly, and have straps that secure them around your chest and waist. You should also wear them when boating or kayaking.
  • Bring a phone to the pool, lake or beach in case of emergency. A phone can help you contact 911 or other emergency services if your child gets into trouble in the water. You should also have an emergency plan that includes who to call, where to meet, and what to do if your child drowns.
  • Check for water dangers at home and where you visit. Make sure there are no hidden hazards in your backyard or at other places where children might play near water, such as bird baths, fountains, ponds, buckets, buckets of sand or gravel, hoses with running water, etc. Remove any toys that might attract children to the water when it is not in use.
  • Avoid alcohol. Alcohol can impair judgment, balance, coordination, and reaction time. It can also make children more likely to play recklessly or ignore safety rules when they are near water.

By following these tips, you can help prevent a child from drowning and enjoy swimming safely with your family.

1: Prevention | Drowning Prevention | CDC 2: Drowning Prevention for Curious Toddlers: What Parents Need to Know – 3: 10 ways to prevent drowning | UCI Health | Orange County 4: Child Drownings: AAP Finds Layers of Protection Key to Prevent Tragedies