6 Swim-Safety Tips All Parents Should Know

Time to hit the pool! Make sure you keep your little ones safe — memorize the following essential swim-smart tips from Safe Kids USA.

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Eyes & Attention

Never turn your back on a child while she’s in the water — not even for a moment.



Lifeguards Are Your Best Friend

Swim only when a lifeguard is on duty, but continue to keep your eyes on your child. Lifeguards must monitor many little swimmers at once; don’t assume they’ll always be watching yours.

Baby sitting next to swimming pool

Kaysh Shinn

Arms Reach

Keep a hand on babies and toddlers at all times while in the pool. Even strong swimmers under 5 should always be within arm’s reach of an adult.

Baby splashing in swimming pool


No Dunking Allowed!

Never dunk a child under 3 — little kids can swallow large amounts of water, which could be dangerous. Moreover, the experience might actually increase your little one’s fear of swimming.

pool safety


Teach Safety Basics

Teach your child the safety basics by the time he’s a toddler. This should include rules like not running near the pool and never going in or near the water without an adult, as well as how to reach for a pole or a line that’s thrown to him if he’s ever struggling in the water.

Child with mother in swimming pool

Learn to perform CPR on a child. Take a class through your local YMCA or American Red Cross chapter.

Originally published in the June 2010 issue of Parents magazine.

Child next to swimming pool

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