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13 Water Safety Tips Every Parent Should Know

Make your kids as safe as possible this summer.

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5. Create a process your kid must go through before entering a pool, such as putting on a swim diaper, a swimsuit, and applying sunscreen.

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Sue Mackie, the executive director of the U.S. Swim School Association, says, "If you teach your child a process and follow it, it will deter your child from trying to jump into the pool at a whim." Mackie compares this process to a bedtime ritual for little ones.

6. It's also a good idea to create a verbal cue that you must give your kids before they can enter the pool.


For example, you can insist that no one gets into the pool until you holler Weird Al's surname.


7. Never allow your baby/toddler in the pool without a swim diaper.

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Mackie says, "If you use a swim diaper every time your child will be programmed to find the swim diapers and try to put one on before he or she tries to get into the pool, giving you more time to intercept."

8. Never use floatation devices or water wings when swimming or when teaching kids to swim.

"If the child is swimming with water wings, the child and the parent are relying on the water wings to keep the child afloat," Mackie says. "They are not learning to float and swim unassisted. If the child falls into the pool unexpectedly, he or she will not know how to float or find the side to exit the water safely."

Mackie also cautions that water wings can "come off or become deflated - again leaving the child in a potentially compromising situation."


11. Create a water safety plan for your family.

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An important part of this is practicing water emergency drills with your kids that cover how to recognize the signs of someone struggling in water, and what to do in this type of emergency.