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Be Water Safe

It is important to stay safe in water, no matter where the water is found: bathtubs, sinks, pails, pools, or the beach. With your children, use this checklist to walk around your home, inside and outside, to guard against water hazards and help your family learn to stay safe.

Bathroom and Indoor Safety
Bath water can be as dangerous as pool water for an unsupervised child.

  • An adult must supervise a bath, not another child.
  • Keep the lid down on the toilet.
  • Keep the bathroom door closed and teach others in the home to do the same.
  • Be careful when using hot water, especially with children under 5 years old because their skin is still very thin and they scald easily.
  • Keep electrical equipment (e.g., hair dryers) away from the water to avoid electrocution.

Outdoor Safety
Water can collect in holes, ditches, and toys (e.g., wagons) and, of course, in wells.

  • Be aware of standing water directly outside and near your home.
  • Fill in holes in the ground.
  • Empty standing water from buckets and other utensils/toys that can hold water.
  • Place covers over wells and hot tubs.
  • Watch children at all times when they are playing near ditches.

Pool Safety
Watch children closely at all times, whether they are in the pool or sitting on the side. The difference between being in the pool or not is only a matter of seconds.

  • Flotation devices are not a substitute for constant supervision.
  • Be aware of the ages of other children in the pool.
    • Roughhousing older children can easily knock younger children under water without realizing it.
    • Diaper-wearing children should be using waterproof diapers because leaky diapers release bacteria into the water. If your child swallows the water, he or she could have nausea and diarrhea.
  • All pools must have a fence or some other barrier around them to keep out unsupervised children.
  • WATCH THE WEATHER! If lightning starts, get the children out of the pool—fast.

Water Safety Rules
As with all rules, state clearly the behavior that you expect from your children and the consequences for not doing so. Be consistent in enforcing your rules.

  • Stay seated in the bathtub. Children slip and fall easily when the tub is wet.
  • Children are NOT to enter pools without adult supervision.
  • There is to be NO roughhousing in the pool.
  • Swimming in the ocean is not the same as swimming in a pool. Children should not stand with their backs to the water because they can get knocked over by a wave.
  • If lightning starts, get out of the water quickly and go inside.

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Updated on 4/5/2013