What to know about water safety before heading to the beach or pool this summer

Written by on July 9, 2024

Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4 and the second leading cause for those 5 to 14, per the CDC. In 2021, 973 children under 19 drowned in the U.S., and another 6,500 had near-drowning incidents.


Key safety measures include always having an adult monitor the water and ensuring children never swim alone. For backyard pools, installing a safety fence can prevent unsupervised access. Children should learn to swim, and if a child goes missing, check the water first. Essential equipment includes life jackets, something to throw for rescue, a phone, and a first aid kit.

Children should be taught to jump into deep water, float, and swim to safety. At gatherings, designate a rotating “water watcher” to keep an eye on the kids. Avoid distractions like phones and remove pool toys after swimming. Teach kids to stay away from drains and always swim with a buddy or lifeguard present. Use life jackets, not floaties, for safety, and enforce pool rules.

For open water, educate children about the risks of currents and undertows, and always swim in designated areas with posted hazards and lifeguards present.

Source: AP News

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