Water Safety Fact Sheet

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Pediatrics at UK HealthCare

Kentucky Children's Hospital is dedicated to caring for your child, from head to toe and everything in between.

Water safety tips for children

  • Learn how to swim.
  • Always swim with a buddy.
  • If you cannot swim, do not get in water higher than shoulder deep.
  • Always wear a US Coast Guard-approved life vest when you are participating in water sports, when you are near an open body of water or when you are on a boat.
  • Swim only within designated safe areas of rivers, lakes and oceans.
  • Never run, push or jump on others around water.
  • Never dive into a river, lake or ocean - use the feet first rule.
  • If you feel tired or chilled, get out of the water.
  • If you see someone struggling in the water, shout for help. Do not try to rescue the person yourself.

Water safety tips for adults

  • Never leave children alone near water-adults must supervise at all times.
  • Never let children swim alone­­-no exceptions to this rule, ever.
  • Children in baby bath seats and rings must be within arm's reach every second.
  • Make sure children swim within designated swimming areas of rivers, lakes and oceans.
  • Teach children to swim after age four.
  • Keep rescue equipment and a telephone nearby.
  • Never substitute a flotation device for supervision- inflatable inner tubes and water wings are not
    safety devices.
  • Do not allow children to run, push or jump on others around water.
  • Learn CPR for infants, children and adults.
  • Keep toilet lids down.

In case of drowning

Each year nearly 400 children drown while participating in water recreation and thousands more are treated in emergency rooms for drowning and near-drownings. In a drowning accident, seconds make the difference between survival, recovery or death. Drownings occur when a child is left unattended, even for a brief moment. If a child is missing, always check bodies of water first, even if access is restricted, before looking elsewhere. Bodies of water that possess a risk of drowning include wading pools,swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, lakes, rivers, oceans, bathtubs, buckets and even toilets.

If you see someone struggling in the water:

  • Shout for help immediately.
  • Find something you can and throw out to the person to pull him or her to safety, such as a life preserver, rope or towel.
  • If you cannot reach the person, throw out a floating object he or she can hold onto until additional help arrives.
  • Never swim right to the person. He or she is scared and may accidentally hurt you.
  • If no one hears your shout, call 911.


UK HealthCare Safe Kids - 859-323-1153

Page last updated: 8/11/2015 9:31:45 AM