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How To Stay Safe In The Water: Swimming Safety Tips and Lessons for Kids and Families Who Swim

Updated on March 3, 2015

Don't Go In The Water Until You Have Read This Article On Swimming Safety! It Could Save A Life!

Many Children and Adults Die by Drowning Every Year. Don't Become a Statistic! Learn Water Safety Before Jumping Into The Water!
Many Children and Adults Die by Drowning Every Year. Don't Become a Statistic! Learn Water Safety Before Jumping Into The Water! | Source

Having A Safety Plan Saves Lives!

Are You Planning a Trip to the Beach? Going Swimming with the Kids in the Pool?

Here are some excellent Safety Tips for Keeping Your Family Safe While Swimming.

Whether you are going on Vacation to a Tropical Island, visiting your Local Beach, or spending the day in the Yard with a Pool, creating a Safety Net for your family and Keeping an Eye Out will greatly decrease the possibility of a swimming accident.

Take action Before it is too late!

Fun at the Beach!

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What To Expect From This Article:

This article will discuss the following tips:

  • How to find a Safe Spot to swim while at the Beach or on Vacation.
  • How to Prepare a Beach Bag with All the Essentials for a Safe Day at the Beach!
  • How to Talk to your Kids about Swimming Safety.
  • How to Respond to a Water Emergency.
  • Proper Supervision of Kids Around Water
  • How to Choose the Right Life Jacket
  • Learning CPR

Swimming Safety 101

The following tips should be used to make sure you are safe when swimming:

  • Swim in Areas Designated for Swimming
  • Do Not Swim in Areas that have Warnings that tell you not to swim. The warnings are there for a reason!
  • Try to find a Spot near a Certified Lifeguard
  • Never Swim Alone!
  • Use the "Buddy System". Have a Buddy close enough to be able to talk to and see easily at all times.
  • Learn to Swim! Take lessons and learn proper swimming techniques.
  • Never enter the water if you are afraid or don't feel safe!
  • Talk to your Children about these swimming rules and make sure they follow them.
  • Have your children always ask for permission to swim; do not allow them to swim at will or without your knowledge.
  • If your child will be swimming at someone else's house, talk to the parents to make sure they will be there the whole time supervising.
  • Avoid drinking excessive alcohol when swimming.
  • If you or your child does not know how to swim, have them wear a Life Jacket or Life Preserver. Make sure it has been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Know your child's ability, skill and stamina level. Swimming can make you tired very quickly as well as short of breath, especially in waters with waves and under-currents (undertow)
  • Never dive into water that is less than 8' deep
  • Know your environment. Know about water hazards in lakes, rivers and shorelines.
  • Pay attention to the weather. Don't swim if the water temperature is too cold. Avoid swimming when thunder and lightning storms are possible.
  • Wear Sunscreen! Water acts as a magnifier to the sun's harmful rays. Be sure to get a high UVA/UVB Protection that is Waterproof (At least SPF 35 or higher)
  • Always wear a Life Jacket when Boating!

Learn Compression Only CPR: You Might Save Someone's Life!

How To Prevent Kids From Accessing The Water Unsupervised

The first thing you want to do is sit down and have a talk with your children. When children think of Swimming Pools, Beaches and Hot Tubs, they think of FUN, not safety.

As parents, we need to create a healthy sense of fear and respect for the water.

Explain to them the dangers of swimming without proper supervision, swimming in unsafe waters that have under currents or undertow, strong currents, dangerous hazards such as rocks and coral, diving in shallow water or consuming alcohol while swimming.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Install Barriers, Fences with Child-Proof Gate Latches, Solid Pool and Spa (Hot Tub) Covers. Do not allow easy access to the water. This is the first and most important step in avoiding swimming accidents and drowning.
  • Make sure that the whole area is fenced in with no gapes or holes. Fences should be no less than 4' (48")
  • For Above Ground Pools, lock or remove Ladders to avoid small children from climbing them.
  • Be aware of things that kids can move near the pool to climb in or over the fence: Lawn Furniture, Nearby Trees, Children's Toys, etc. Take a Good Look at your Environment!
  • When your swimming session is done for the day, remove all floats, toys, goggles, or anything that could attract a child to retrieve.
  • Always check and maintain pool chemicals and make sure you can easily see the bottom of the pool. If you can't see the bottom, Do Not Go In The Pool!
  • Always Supervise your children, 100% of the time. If you need to take a break to answer the phone or use the bathroom, make sure everyone is out of the pool and remains out until the supervising person returns.
  • Make sure your child's "Swimming Buddy" stays within Arm's Reach at all times.
  • When Diving and Jumping is allowed, make sure kids wait until the jumping area is clear before they jump in.
  • Don't Be Distracted!
  • Pay attention to your kids when they are swimming. Often times swimming areas can get crowded and noisy. Take your attention away for less than a minute and you might be the parent who is frantically searching and calling out your child's name! 100% Contact, 100% of the time!

Swimming Safety Poll

Do You Take Precautions When Swimming?

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Stay Safe While Vacationing at the Beach!

Make sure that your family has a safety plan when swimming. Create a plan together and make sure everyone knows the rules!
Make sure that your family has a safety plan when swimming. Create a plan together and make sure everyone knows the rules! | Source

What Should You Do In Case of an Emergency?

Although no one wants to talk about it, emergencies can occur in the water. People can get sick, have a heart attack or other emergency. Unsupervised children can go "missing" and a bunch of other irregular situations can arise.

By planning ahead and knowing what to do in case of an emergency, the likelihood of disaster is severely reduced. Always do your research before swimming in unknown territory, follow posted safety rules, pay attention and Be Prepared!

Here are some Tips On How To React In An Emergency:

  • If a person or child is missing, check the water thoroughly; they may be swimming underwater or in the worst case scenario, if they are unconscious, you will see them and be able to remove them fast.
  • Have Access to a (fully charged) Cell Phone or other Communications Device so that you can call 911 or other Emergency Contacts
  • If you are at a Home Swimming Pool, make sure you have a Long Pole or something where you can reach out to a struggling victim.
  • Contact and Inform the Life Guard of your situation.
  • Don't Panic! I know it is hard when someone is missing or in danger, but if you panic it will only make the situation worse!
  • Perform Proper CPR if Needed; Take a Course to get Certified before going on the water! Many classes take just a few hours to complete and are either free or inexpensive.
  • Be Pro-Active! Plan before you go to avoid any Accidents or Incidents!

Using these tips can be very helpful and could possible avoid a dangerous disater. Always use your head and Pay Attention when swimming! If you are prepared you will enjoy your time on the water without worry or fear. Educate yourself and go have fun in the sun!

Take the Quiz Below to See What You Have Leaned from this Article! Are You Ready For a Safe Swimming Adventure?

Pool and Swimming Safety Quiz: What Did You Learn?

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    • J.S.Matthew profile imageAUTHOR

      JS Matthew 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @lillygordon: I agree! Thanks for stopping by!


    • J.S.Matthew profile imageAUTHOR

      JS Matthew 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      It's really sad JPSO138. Most swimming accidents can be avoided if people were a little more careful and observant. Alcohol and swimming or boating Never mix! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience.


    • JPSO138 profile image


      5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Being a responder myself, I totally agree with you. I have responded to a lot of drowning victims and basically the common reason is swimming while drinking alcohol, not following warnings signs to name a few. Swimming is obviously fun but it can also dangerous if we take those simple rules for granted.

    • J.S.Matthew profile imageAUTHOR

      JS Matthew 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hello ElleBee! When I was a teenager in the Boy Scouts I wanted to be a lifeguard but never finished all the training. I agree with you that learning how to swim properly and learning water safety at a young age is the key to prevention. Thanks for supporting the point of this article from a professional's perspective! I appreciate your comment.


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      These are such important tips for parents and swimmers! I have been a lifeguard and swim instructor for about 7 years now, and it amazes me how many people don't make sure their children learn to swim properly. Many people (including some who aren't very good swimmers themselves) try to simply teach their children themselves, but learning proper swimming techniques as you mentioned is so important!! Another important thing children are taught in lessons is safety skills - from the very beginnings of pre-school swim programs whether through the Y or Red Cross children are taught important safety skills, like not swimming alone, not jumping in to help a friend etc. I really think everyone who spends time around water should have their child in lessons by age 3 or 4. Definitely an important topic to consider given all the drownings that took place here in MA this summer.

    • J.S.Matthew profile imageAUTHOR

      JS Matthew 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I agree lillygordon! We really have to be alert when swimming. Anything can happen in an instant. Thanks for reading and commenting! I am glad you found these tips helpful.


    • lillygordon profile image


      6 years ago

      Going out for swimming is a lot of fun, however keeping everyone's safety is important. These tips are really helpful.

    • J.S.Matthew profile imageAUTHOR

      JS Matthew 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hello TToombs08! No matter where you go, you will always see "absent" parents around the water. It really is very scary. Last summer a 30 something year old woman was reported missing for 2-3 days. They found her body floating in a murky public pool that was over 12' deep and she was there for 2 days, unnoticed, at the bottom of the pool before she rose to the top. It was very sad and preventable...and this is an adult, not a child.

      The entire staff was fired and there are charges of neglect pending and the pool was closed for the entire season after being open for just 3 days. Since then they have made the pool more shallow and have better accountability for making sure that before people can go into the pools in the city, they have to be clean enough to see the bottom. Many other changes have been made to ensure safety, but it is so sad that this happened. If you want to read the sad details you can follow this news link:

      People really need to wake up and pay attention! Too many people are put in harms way due to negligence. I really appreciate you sharing your story and I hope that people change the way they approach swimming which is supposed to be fun, Not Deadly! Thanks for the votes!


    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      6 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Wonderful hub! When we lived in Florida, we saw SOOOO many families at the beach that just went crazy; parents napping while the little kids played in the water, kids running up and down the beach without an adult with them, etc. The last summer we were there, 2 people were ran over and at least 2 people drowned. It amazed me how many would go to the beach and threw common sense out the window. Voted up and more.

    • J.S.Matthew profile imageAUTHOR

      JS Matthew 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you, Jlava73! My community has experienced a few avoidable accidents in the last few years, particularly in Public Swimming Pools. This is the time of year to think about Swimming Safely! I appreciate your comment!


    • Jlava73 profile image

      Jennifer Vasconcelos 

      6 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

      Excellent and timely Hub!


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