Water Safety

10 Water Safety Tips

Learn to Swim

Learning to swim is our #1 water safety rule. Drowning continues to be a major health issue across the entire globe; though, it is largely preventable. Taking formal swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among kids aged 1-4. (Source:  Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 2009)

Know your limits. Holding your breath is dangerous.

Hypoxic blackout, commonly known as shallow water blackout, is a silent killer of advanced swimmers, free divers, and special military forces.

Swim in lifeguarded areas.

USLA has calculated the chance that a person will drown while attending a beach protected by USLA affiliated lifeguards at 1 in 18 million (.0000055%). This is based on the last ten years of reports from USLA affiliated lifeguard agencies, comparing estimated beach attendance to the number of drownings in areas under lifeguard protection.

Wear a lifejacket!

Personal Flotation Device (PFD), life jacket, life vest – call it what you want. Lifejackets do not work unless you put them on.  90% of drowning victims from boating accidents were not wearing life vests.


Stay away from frozen bodies of water.

Swimming proficiency plays only a small part in ice-related rescues. After as little as five minutes, cold water begins to rob you of your ability to move your limbs. This makes it very difficult for you to get out of the water, no matter what your swimming ability.

To assist others, reach or throw, don’t go.

Even a strong swimmer can drown trying to help others. Don’t go into the water unless you are trained.

Follow all posted safety signs.

Recognizing and following safety signs can alert you of dangerous water, erosion, and beach conditions. Get familiar with specific water safety signs.

Don’t swim in bad weather.

Inclimate weather is a known contributor to drownings. It also makes rescue attempts that much more dangerous.

Feet first! Never dive in shallow or unknown waters.

Did you know you can break your neck or get a spinal cord injury from diving into water five feet or less?Estimates show the speed of a dive is about 15 feet per second. If the water is only 5’ deep you could be paralyzed in 1/3 of a second.

Buddy up – never swim alone.

Nobody can help you if you get into trouble while swimming alone. Nobody can call for help or throw you a life ring. Adult supervision is of utmost importance for the safety of children.


International Water Safety Foundation

May 15th is International Water Safety Day.

International Water Safety Day is designed to help spread global awareness of the ongoing drowning pandemic, and educate the youth in becoming safer in and around water. May 15th is a day to spread drowning awareness and water safety education by any means possible. The lack of water safety education has propelled drownings worldwide. Through interdependence, we can change that.

Calling all educators and youth leaders!

International Water Safety Day is a global team effort. Through our network of educators, youth leaders, and volunteers we are able to reach exponentially more people. Our goal is to reach 1,000,000 students in-school or community activities on May 15th.

Interested in providing an in-class water safety lesson on May 15th? Sign up here! We will send you our simple 15-minute curriculum along with water safety stickers at no cost to you. 

Grant children the privilege of learning to swim

Learning to swim reduces the risk of drowning.

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