Keeping Children Safe Near the Water

It’s a dream of many to have an ocean front home or to have a home with a pool. But that dream can quickly turn into a nightmare for parents of small children if they aren’t careful.

While summer pool parties or a day at the beach can be fun and relaxing, there is a grim reality that must be faced: water is a danger to small children. Drowning is the leading cause of children aged one to three and the second leading cause of death for children fifteen and under. Another alarming statistic? Only 34% of parents are aware of these figures.

Water doesn’t have to be deadly. In fact, it can be the opposite if parents have enough safety devices and precautionary measures in place. These precautions include:

  • Staying in arm’s reach of your child when near a pool or body of water and keeping your eye on your child at all times. If you have to leave the area, never leave your child in the pool. Even a shallow body of water can turn deadly.
  • Swim near a lifeguard when at a public body of water. Make sure public beaches and lakes have designated swimming areas and don’t wander away from them.
  • Use the correct safety device. This means life jackets approved by the Coast Guard. Unfortunately, arm floatation devices will not protect your child from drowning.
  • Lifeguards are important but don’t rely on them. Lifeguards have a lot of swimmers to watch and won’t necessarily notice if your child slips under the water. The responsibility of keeping your child safe ultimately lies with you.
  • Finally, if you own a home with a pool, be sure to install a child safety fence. Keep in mind that all child safety fences are not created equal. Look for ones that can’t easily be pushed down or in allowing a small child to squeeze through. Also look for fencing that won’t get hot in the sun and cause burns if touched.

Taking precautions after your child has gained unsupervised access to your pool or a swimming area is too late. These tips can keep your summer fun from turning into summer tragedy.


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