water safety and prevention

Water Safety in Addition to Skills

Though important, swimming skills alone aren't always enough to save a life. Many drowning incidents involve other factors that swimming skills alone cannot prepare an individual for. Learning water safety-such as how to prepare for an emergency, and what to do if one should occur-is key to preventing an emergency in or on the water. It's swimming skills combined with safety knowledge and skills that saves lives.

The Red Cross Swim program teaches both swimming skills and water safety. The infant and preschool program, Red Cross Swim Preschool, teaches caregivers strategies on how to effectively supervise children around water and teaches preschoolers not to go near the water without an adult.

Prevention

Active supervision

  • The absence of adult supervision is a factor in most child drownings.
  • Whether it's a pool, the bathtub, a water park, or the beach, always watch children actively around water-even if they can swim.
  • Consider requiring all non-swimmers to wear a lifejacket to keep them at the surface to assist you while supervising.

Backyard pools

  • Backyard pools are especially dangerous for small children. Ensure adequate barriers are in place such as four-sided fencing along with a self-closing, self-latching gate.
  • Empty portable toddler pools after each use.