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Published on June 23, 2020

two boys kayaking on lake

Water Safety Tips for Summer Fun Part 2

This is the second of two blogs on water safety. Read the first part.

Humid afternoons and plenty of sunshine have everyone clamoring for the cool fun that goes with swimming, splashing and being in the water.

Safely spending time at the lake, pool or elsewhere comes first. Before you pack your sunscreen and pool toys, review the basics and be ready. It makes the fun that much more enjoyable.

Tips for Overall Water Safety at Home

  • Be sure your pool has safety devices like a water rescue ring, rope and pole and know how to use them.
  • Do not rely on air-filled “water wings” as a safety device.
  • Learn CPR and keep current in the techniques.
  • Always have a charged phone near the pool, know the emergency numbers to call as well as the address of your location.
  • Swimming lessons are a great idea for children but they do not DROWN PROOF children. Don’t let the fact that your child can swim give you a false sense of security. Children in the pool MUST be supervised by an adult at ALL times.
  • Keep swimmers hydrated to avoid dizziness and lightheadedness.
  • Made sure drains, pipes and openings in pools or spas meet safety regulations; drains should be covered with federally approved drain covers to avoid suction entrapment.
  • Designate one person to be the “Water Watcher” when children are in the pool.
  • Teach children never to go in the water unless a grownup is watching them.

Staying Safe at the Lake or River

Be aware that 43% of all child drownings happen in natural water settings like lakes, rivers and oceans. If your family spends time at the lake in the summer, pay attention to these additional tips:


  • Educate your children about the special safety precautions of lake swimming.
  • Children should never be on docks or in boats, even if anchored, without an adult supervising.
  • Check out the lake depth and check for underwater hazards like drop offs and weeds that could cause foot entanglement.
  • Children should always wear a well-fitting, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when in a boat. Consider using one when children are swimming in the lake, too. Water toys like inflatable rings or water wings will not protect your child.
  • Designate at least one person to be the “Water Watcher” while children are in the water.

Water Watchers for Swimming Anywhere

When we gather near the pool or lake, it can be easy to assume everyone is watching the kids. That assumption can lead to tragedy, and that’s why the Independent Pool and Spa Service Association (IPSSA) promotes assigning an official water watcher at any water event.

The water watcher wears a tag and agrees to the following:

  • I will devote my complete attention to supervising the children in the water.
  • I will not eat, drink, visit or use the phone while on duty.
  • I will not leave the area without finding a replacement.
  • I will know how many children are in the pool at all times.

Your city swimming pool will usually have a lifeguard on duty. This does not mean you can let your guard down. You must still supervise. Many community pools require that children age 6 and young are supervised by someone at least 16 years of age, and that there are no more than five children under the age of 6 being supervised by one adult. Take the time to read the pool rules with your children.

Teach your children that they must obey the lifeguard. In a pool with no lifeguard, such as most hotel pools, make sure they understand the “Water Watcher” idea and help the adult watching to make sure everyone is safe.

When we focus on fun – safely – we can really enjoy our times in the water more than ever.

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