5 Tips for Keeping Children Safe In and Around Water

by Migdalia Rivera

With summer in full gear, that means families are heading to the beach and pool.

Are you prepared?

Most parents and caregivers remember the suntan lotion, towels and beach balls, but forget the safety rules. I’m one of those who did. However, statistics scared me straight.

Water Safety At-A-Glance:

  • Each year, more than 3,400 people drown in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • More than one in five fatal drowning victims are children younger than 14
  • Drowning is the second-leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1-14
  • Seven out of every 10 African-American and Hispanic children cannot swim, according to a national research study by USA Swimming and the University of Memphis.
  • African-American children drown at a rate nearly three times higher than their Caucasian peers (CDC) 

Below are 5 tips for parents and caretakers that Latina On a Mission received from the USA Swimming Foundation. These tips should help you keep children your children safe in and around water this summer.

Five Tips for Keeping Children Safe In and Around Water*

1.      Teach children to swim. It’s the best way to be safer in the water. Research shows that parents are the most influential factors in whether or not a child learns to swim. Only 13 percent of children from non-swimming households will ever learn to swim, according to national research conducted by the University of Memphis for USA Swimming.

2.      Make sure a responsible adult is watching the water at all times. Drowning can be completely silent, and most child drownings occur when the victim has been out of sight for less than five minutes.

3.      Remind kids to always obey the rules of the pool, not to jump on or dunk other swimmers, and not to jump or dive unless they know how deep the water is.

4.      Require kids to always swim with a buddy.

5.      Remember, you don’t have to be at a pool to drown. Lakes, rivers, large puddles and any other bodies of water also require caution. Make sure your child knows how to swim, whether or not they’ll be around a pool this summer.


If you are looking for resources for families, including swimming lessons in your community that are low cost or even free, depending on your family’s economic need, visit www.makeasplash.org.

Stay cool AND safe!

¡Abrazos!/ Hugs!

Let’s talk! Do your children know how to swim? If so, how did they learn? Let us know in a comment!


About the Author

Migdalia Rivera, also known as Ms. Latina in social media, is a single Latina mother of a teen, tween and 2 Australian Shepherds. When not blogging, or chasing after her energetic bunch, she connects influential bloggers with brands and PR agencies via her blogger network, Stiletto Media.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rachel July 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm

We just taught our little one how to swim but I still am very careful while we’re in the water. These are wonderful tips. Will def share!
Rachel recently posted..Family Travel: Pack Light, Pack Right

2 Alicia @Mommy Delicious July 16, 2012 at 8:06 pm

While Aiden is currently taking swim lessons and loves it, whenever we’re in or around the water,we go over the rules of the pool/water. It helps a lot. And having someone always keep an eye out helps too.

Great times and so timely!
Alicia @Mommy Delicious recently posted..Maxi Love

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