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7 Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe Around Water

By Primary Childrens Hospital

May 10, 2021

water satefy for kids

It's hot outside, which means your little ones are probably excited to play outside, enjoy family time, and of course, go swimming! Playing in the water can be fun, but it's important to use extra caution with kids around water.

In Utah, drowning is the second leading cause of death for children under the age of 14. Primary Children's Hospital provides information and community education about water safety to help prevent injury and death. Consider these tips the next time you take your family outside and are enjoying time in or near water. 

7 Tips for Water Safety 

1. Teach your children to swim and always supervise them around water

  • Be sure adults are present and actively watching children when they swim. 
  • Take turns with other adults so there is always a dedicated water watcher
  • Water wings are not sufficient flotation devices as they can deflate or fall off. We recommend life jackets and adult supervision at all times.

2. Water at any depth can be hazardous

  • Young children are top-heavy. Swimming pools, bathtubs and containers with even a little water can result in a toddler falling in head first and possibly unable to get out of the water by themselves.
  • When not in use, kiddie pools and other containers should be drained and turned upside down to prevent injury.

3. Gated pools

  • If you have a pool, keep a closed gate around it at all times. Only let children around the pool when they are supervised by you or another adult.

4. Supervise children near lakes, rivers and streams

  • Kids love to run free and play in natural water when outdoors. Use extra caution and care to supervise children near lakes, rivers and ever streams. Moving water is especially dangerous and remember – water can be dangerous at any depth. 

5. Teach children to stay way from water while hiking or camping

  • Lakes and rivers can have hidden hazards like limited visibility, sudden drop offs, uneven surfaces, currents and undertow. This makes them deadly if a child were to fall in. 

6. If a child is missing, always check nearby water first

  • If a child is stuck in water, early rescue is critical to survival. Check any nearby water first when searching for a missing child for the best chance at preventing drowning.

7. Learn CPR

  • Sometimes even our best efforts can't prevent all accidents. Learn CPR so you can resuscitate your child if needed. 

Additional Water Safety Information

To get more water safety tips and learn about other child safety topics, visit