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  • Writer's picturePaula Robertson

Keeping children safe around water

Practical tips for ensuring your child's safety around water

As a parent, keeping your child safe around water is of paramount importance. Whether it's a pool, bathtub, beach, or even a bucket of water, being aware and taking preventive measures can prevent accidents and ensure your child’s safety. Here are some essential tips and practical advice to keep in mind:

Supervision is Key: Always supervise your child when they are near water, even if it's just a few inches deep. Young children can drown in as little as an inch of water, so never leave them unattended, even for a moment.

Teach Water Safety: Educate your child about water safety from an early age. Teach them to swim as soon as they're ready and make sure they understand basic water safety rules such as never swimming alone, staying away from drains, and not running around pool areas.

Pool Safety Measures: If you have a pool at home, install barriers like fences with self-closing, self-latching gates. Consider pool alarms and safety covers as additional layers of protection. Remove toys from the pool area when they're not in use to avoid attracting unsupervised children.

Use Proper Gear: Equip your child with approved life jackets when they are near water, especially if they are not strong swimmers. Remember, inflatable toys and water wings are not substitutes for life jackets.

Teach Emergency Response: Ensure that you and your child know what to do in case of an emergency. CPR training for adults and age-appropriate lessons for children can be life-saving skills in water-related incidents.

Be Vigilant in Different Water Settings: Whether it's the bathtub, the beach, a lake, or a community pool, the same safety precautions apply. Always stay alert and watchful in these various water environments.

Set Clear Rules: Establish rules about water activities. Let your child know what they can and cannot do around water. Emphasize the importance of following these rules consistently.

Empty and Secure Water Containers: Buckets, bathtubs, and inflatable pools can pose a drowning risk. Empty and store them away when not in use, and never leave them filled with water unattended.

Stay Sober: Avoid alcohol and any substances that may impair your ability to supervise your child when near water. Clear and focused supervision is crucial.

Learn and Respect Water Conditions: Understand the water conditions before swimming in unfamiliar areas. Be aware of currents, tides, and any potential hazards.

Teach Awareness of Surroundings: Encourage your child to be aware of their surroundings when near water. This includes identifying depth changes, slippery areas, and potential dangers.

Stay Informed: Stay updated on water safety guidelines and recommendations. Being informed about potential risks and preventive measures can help you protect your child effectively.

By implementing these water safety measures and consistently reinforcing them, you can significantly reduce the risk of water-related accidents for your child. Remember, staying vigilant and proactive is crucial in ensuring your child's safety around water and creating a safe and enjoyable environment for your children to enjoy water activities responsibly.

Be well,


Dr Paula Robertson is a busy mom and a paediatrician with over twenty years' experience working with young people and their families. She is also a certified children's mindfulness teacher and Positive Discipline Parenting coach. You can find out more at

Our AI wellness assistant has contributed to the writing of this article

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