Water Safety

Water safety encompasses the practices, techniques, and guidelines designed to prevent drowning and water-related injuries. It is crucial for anyone engaging in activities in or near water, including swimming, boating, fishing, and water sports. Water safety education covers a wide range of topics, such as swimming skills, the use of life jackets, understanding water environments (pools, beaches, rivers, lakes), and emergency response procedures, including CPR.


  • Prevents Drownings and Injuries: Knowledge and application of water safety practices can significantly reduce the risk of accidents in and around water.
  • Promotes Confidence: Being educated about water safety can increase individuals’ confidence when participating in water-related activities.
  • Enhances Enjoyment: Understanding how to stay safe in water environments allows for more relaxed and enjoyable experiences.
  • Empowers Bystanders: Equips individuals with the skills to assist in a water emergency, potentially saving lives.


  • Websites: The American Red Cross and the World Health Organization offer comprehensive resources on water safety and drowning prevention.
  • Courses: Many community centers, YMCAs, and aquatic centers offer water safety and swimming lessons for all ages.
  • Books: “Swimming and Water Safety” by the American Red Cross provides detailed information on safe practices in various water settings.

Best Age to Start

Water safety education can begin as early as infancy, with parents learning about water hazards and supervision techniques. Formal swimming lessons and water safety education are recommended starting around age 1 to 4 years, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, to introduce early water competence and safety habits.

Equipment and Materials Needed

  • Life Jackets: Essential for non-swimmers and for certain water activities, ranging from $20 to $100+ depending on type and quality.
  • Swimming Gear: Includes swimsuits, goggles, and swim caps, with costs varying based on brand and quality.
  • First Aid Kit: Important for any emergency situation, with basic kits costing around $10 to $30.
  • CPR Training: Courses vary in price, often around $50 to $100 for certification.

Starting Tips

  • Always Supervise Children: Never leave children unattended near water, regardless of their swimming abilities.
  • Wear Life Jackets: Ensure everyone wears properly fitted life jackets when boating or participating in water sports.
  • Learn to Swim: Enroll in swimming lessons taught by qualified instructors.
  • Understand Local Water Conditions: Familiarize yourself with the specific hazards and safety guidelines of your local water environments.

Recommended Frequency

Regular practice of water safety skills and swimming is crucial, especially for children, to reinforce learning and competence. Reviewing water safety rules and practicing emergency responses should be done at the start of each swimming season or before engaging in water activities.

Requirements/Tasks to Master Water Safety

  • Swimming Proficiency: Achieve a level of swimming skill that includes basic strokes, floating, and treading water.
  • Rescue Techniques: Understand basic water rescue techniques and when to use them.
  • CPR Certification: Obtain certification in CPR and basic first aid, specifically focusing on water-related emergencies.
  • Environmental Awareness: Learn to identify and respond to different water hazards, including currents, weather conditions, and aquatic life.

Famous People Known for Water Safety Advocacy

  1. Michael Phelps: Through the Michael Phelps Foundation, he promotes water safety and encourages swimming as a life skill.
  2. Cullen Jones: An Olympic swimmer who survived a near-drowning as a child; he advocates for swimming lessons and water safety, particularly in underrepresented communities.

Water Games