Injury Prevention

Water Safety

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 300 children under the age of 5 drown in residential swimming pools and hot tubs each year, and 3,000 children in the same age group are treated in emergency rooms for submersion accidents. Keep these tips in mind when your child is in or near water – including pools, bathtubs, hot tubs, rivers and lakes.

  • Always provide adult supervision.
  • Never leave a child alone in or near the water. Encourage children to use the buddy system.
  • Flotation devices, water wings and pool toys should never be used as life jackets.
  • Never go swimming during a storm or when there is lightning.
  • Children should swim only in supervised or designated areas.
  • Never permit a child to swim in a river.
  • Make sure you and your child knows the depth of the water.
  • Do not permit diving or jumping into water that is less than 12-feet deep.
  • Keep a phone and emergency numbers near the water.
  • Have each child complete a swimming safety program.
  • Enforce all pool rules, including no running, pushing or dunking other swimmers.

If you own a pool or a hot tub, follow these safety tips, too:

  • Make sure there is a clear view of the entire pool from your house.
  • Install a fence or wall that is at least five-feet high and completely surrounds the pool. Entry points should be kept locked.
  • Invest in a pool alarm that sounds when a child enters the pool.
  • Make sure that any handles or latches to gate openings are not easily accessible to young children.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions for the safe installation and use of your pool cover.
  • Keep all electrical appliances away from the pool and hot tub.
  • Store pool chemicals carefully – explosions and burn injuries can occur if the chemicals are stored improperly or handled by children.
  • Cover hot tubs with self-latching locks when not in use.
  • Limit the amount of time children spend in hot tubs. High water temperatures elevate body temperatures of children.
Last Update
May 23, 2008
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Last Update
May 23, 2008
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