to keep safe in and around the water
Follow all safety tips to reduce risk of drowning. You never know which safety tip will save a life, until it does.
Learning to swim can be a life saving skill, but it does not make a child drown-proof. Fatal and non-fatal drownings are 8x more likely to happen to children who don't know how to swim.
Enroll in swim lessons (free or reduced-cost options are available) through your local YMCA, Red Cross, USA Swimming Chapter, or Parks and Recreation Department. To learn more about the swim lessons sponsored by Stew Leonard III Water Safety Foundation, please contact us here.
Always watch children when they’re in or near water, and never leave them unattended. Designate an official Water Watcher, an adult tasked with supervising children in the water. Even if a lifeguard is present, parents and caregivers should still take the responsibility of designating a Water Watcher. That should be their only task – they shouldn’t be reading, texting or playing games on their phone. Often times, drowning is not a LACK of adult supervision, but a LAPSE of adult supervision...a drowning can happen in a matter of seconds.
Use a U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest and adjust it for the proper fit. Air-filled or foam toys like "water wings" and "noodles" are not designated to keep swimmers safe. This also applies when on boating. More than 2/3's of all boating fatalities are drowning incidents and 90% of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket.
For more information, visit Boat U.S. Foundation.
CPSC estimates that each year nearly 300 children younger than 5 years old drown in swimming pools and spas (an additional 4,000 children that age go to hospital emergency rooms due to submersion injuries in pools and spas.)
A fence of at least four feet in height should surround the pool or spa on all sides and should not be climbable for children. Install a door alarm from the house to the pool area, and keep pool and spa covers in working order.
Knowing how to perform CPR can be the difference between life and death while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive. CPR classes are available through many hospitals, community centers, or by contacting the American Red Cross.