Basic water safety

Drowning is still one of the leading causes of death among young children.

It is critical to teach children these six basic water safety rules:

  1. Never climb over a fence or go through a gate where there is a swimming pool, pond, lake, or other body of water unless you are with an adult.
  2. Swim or play in the water only when an adult agrees to watch you.
  3. Do not run, push, or play roughly around water.
  4. Do not bring glass near the water.
  5. Do not swim with something in your mouth.
  6. Be sure to keep the supervising adult within eyesight.  Yell and wave arms for help only when you need it.


Most drownings occur in swimming pools, and the young drowning victim is generally “missing” for only a few minutes before the drowning occurs.

Keep the pool safe:

  • Make sure that entrances to pools have self-closing gates with secure locks and latches that are child resistant.
  • Fencing needs to surround the pool on all four sides.
  • Provide constant adult supervision.

Shallow Water

Children can drown in less than three centimeters of water.  Buckets filled with water (or other liquids) present a drowning hazard to young children. Never leave a bucket unattended when small children are around.  Even a partly filled bucket can be a drowning hazard to a curious young child learning to walk.  These children may use the bucket to pull themselves up and then topple into it.

Download the indoor safety poster

Download the outdoor safety poster