Water Safety  

Drowning is a leading killer of children between the ages of one to four. Prevention, of course, is the key to lowering that statistic.  Here are some good safety tips to remember when swimming!


  • Never swim alone, bring a "buddy" with you.
  • If you get a leg cramp, try not to panic. Float on your back, and bring your leg to the surface. Rub the muscle with both hands, with a kneading action. Don't be afraid to rub hard. Try swimming slowly back to shore, using a different stroke than the one you used when you got the cramp.
  • A stomach cramp is more serious. It is usually caused by swimming hard in cold water on a full stomach. If the pain is very bad, try to keep your head above water, and shout for help. If it not too severe, try floating on your back and take slow deep breaths to help relax the muscles. You can also try bending your knees to your chest, and then extending them again.
  • Don't run around the pool edge, you could slip and get hurt, or fall in.
  • It is dangerous to duck people, and can destroy their confidence.
  • Be thoughtful of other swimmers. Watch where you are going so you don't collide with anyone.
  • If you are allowed to use equipment, be careful with it. Flippers can hurt someone if you run into them, and snorkles could make you lose your sense of direction, and you may swim under the diving area by accident.
  • Don't jump in without checking if there is someone below.
  • Never throw someone in as a joke. They may hit their head on the side of the pool.
  • If you are not sure if an area is safe for swimming, don't swim there.
  • Never swim right after a meal, allow about an hour for your food to digest.
  • Never swim if danger flags are flying.
  • Check whether the tide is going in or out.
  • Don't swim near piers or breakwaters. The currents here may be very strong, even for the best of swimmers.
  • Stay clear of boats. They take time to change direction, and they may not even see you.
  • Swim parallel to the shore. If you swim out too far, you may be too tired to swim back.
  • Open water is usually much colder than a pool, so don't swim out too far.

Parent's Resource Center
Copyright 1997-2005 [PRC]. All rights reserved.
Revised: November 14, 2006