Red Cross Water Safety Rules

[ 5 ] July 1, 2010 |

It’s summer time and many of us will be spending time at the beach or a pool to beat the heat. Here is a reminder of how we all can stay this summer with a list of tips from the Red Cross.

Beach Make Water Safety Your Priority

– Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
– Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
– Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses.
Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
– Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
– Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability, do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings, and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming under water or have breath-holding contests.
– Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
– If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
– Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.

Prevent Unsupervised Access to the Water

– Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub. Safety covers and pool alarms should be added as additional layers of protection.
– Ensure that pool barriers enclose the entire pool area, are at least 4-feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching and open outward, and away from the pool. The latch should be high enough to be out of a small child’s reach.
– If you have an above-ground or inflatable pool, remove access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever the pool is not in use.
– Remove any structures that provide access to the pool, such as outdoor furniture, climbable trees, decorative walls and playground equipment.
– Keep toys that are not in use away from the pool and out of sight. Toys can attract young children to the pool.

Maintain Constant Supervision

– Actively supervise children whenever around the water–even if lifeguards are present. Do not just drop your kids off at the public pool or leave them at the beach–designate a responsible adult to supervise.
– Always stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions when supervising children around water.

Know What to Do in an Emergency

– If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
– Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
– If you own a home pool or hot tub, have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
– Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.

Contact your local Red Cross chapter to find out which aquatic facilities in your area offer Red Cross courses. To find your local chapter, enter your zip code in the far right column of this page.

Category: baby, child safety, kids, preschool, seasonal, tweens

Anisa Raoof

about the author ()

Anisa Raoof is the publisher of She combines being a mom with her experience as an artist, designer, psych researcher and former co-director of the Providence Craft Show to create the go-to spot for families in Rhode Island and beyond. She loves using social media to connect parents with family-related businesses and services and promoting ways for parents to engage offline with their kids. Anisa believes in the power of working together and loves to find ways to collaborate with others. An online enthusiast, still likes to unplug often by reading books and magazines, drawing, learning to knit, making pop-up books with her two sons and listening to records with her husband.

Comments (5)

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  1. Great Tips!! For those interested in brushing up on their CPR skills, I’ve organized a special training for parents. Please email for details:

  2. Marcia M. Fowler Marcia says:

    Thanks for posting these important safety tips.

  3. Katy Killilea Katy says:

    I like water safety, but feel this post may mean Kidoinfo is on vacation. Boooo. I’ll miss you!

  4. Anisa Raoof Anisa says:

    We thought it was important to test out some of this water safety advice first-hand at the beach! We will be back next week! In the meantime visit us on Facebook and share your favorite picnic items!

  5. calendar kk says:

    Smart Kathleen shared this free bowling link:

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