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girl-enjoying-waterIn addition to the general water safety guidelines, teach children these safe swimming rules for the pool, lake, or ocean:

Safe swimming rule #1: Stay aware
Be aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye out for others around you, so that you don’t hit someone while splashing around or have someone else accidentally knock you.

Safe swimming rule #2: Respect water
Give water the respect it deserves. Most older kids drown when they either overestimate their swimming ability, or underestimate the risk or power of the water.

Safe swimming rule #3: Stay in the comfort zone
Never go out in a pool or lake farther than you feel comfortable with. Just as importantly, remember that you have to be able to swim the entire way BACK also, so don’t expend all your energy swimming out. If you start to feel tired, turn back immediately.

Safe swimming rule #4: Stay strong in the water
Never continue to swim if you start to get dizzy, tired, or weak.  Get out of the water as soon as you can and rest.

Safe swimming rule #5: Always check the water’s depth
Never jump or dive into any type of water without first checking to see how deep it is.  (Something I wish I had been reminded of as a child, after cracking my heel on a field trip jumping into water in a pool that I expected to be much deeper than the six inches it was.) It could be shallower or much deeper than you think, and either way spells trouble.

Safe swimming rule #6: No pushing
Never push others into the water. Not only is it impolite, but you might not know how well they can swim. Kids have been killed because someone decided to push a child who couldn’t swim into deep water as a prank.

Safe swimming rule #7: Stay out from under
Never swim underneath a diving board or platform. Others might not see you there, and could jump on top of you! Not only would that really hurt, but it could knock you out or injure a leg, causing someone to drown.

Safe swimming rule #8: Look out below!
Along the same token, teach kids to always check the water carefully before going off a diving board or a platform, to make sure nobody and nothing else is in the water below. If someone is close by, wait until they are safely to the side.

Safe swimming rule #9: NEVER swim alone
Emphasize to children that they should never, EVER swim alone. There are just way too many things that could happen. If an accident occurs on the sidewalk, you might get a scraped knee. If an accident occurs in the water, someone might die. You always need an adult around who can help, preferably one who can swim.

Safe Swimming Rule #10: Use the proper protection
Children ages 7 to 12 are most vulnerable to swimmer’s ear – an infection that occurs when bacteria-filled water gets stuck in the ear. The ear canals are still small, so it might be a good idea to use earplugs designed for swimming when your child goes underwater. If your child complains that one or both ears hurt or they feel blocked or congested after swimming, you should see your pediatrician ASAP, as this may require prescription drops or antibiotic pills.

Swimming Safety Resources for kids

Read your children our Water Safety book, designed for Pre-K and elementary school kids.

Swimming Safety Coloring pages for kids
  • Swimming safety: Floating out too far
  • Swimming ability – boys
  • Swimming ability – girls
  • Diving In  coloring page
  • Family fun at the lake coloring page


My Water safety book, a child water safety book.Water Safety printable book
A Fun and entertaining children’s book that teaches kids some basic principles on water safety. Recommended for kids ages 4-10.


Be Safe With Water
This is a water safety book for toddlers and preschoolers. It uses simple language small children can understand to protect the most vulnerable kids from the most common causes of drowning accidents.

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