The 2024 Water Safety Season Toolkit Is Now Live

Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning

Drowning is fast, silent, and can happen in as little as 30 seconds.

No Splashing. No Waving. No Yelling.

Key Facts:

  • Drowning is not what Hollywood and TV often portray.
  • It is fast and silent with most children unable to call out for help.
  • 50% of children drown within 25 yards of a parent or other adult.
  • 23% of child drownings happen during a family pool gathering.
  • 70% of toddler drownings happen when the child isn’t expected to be in the water (non-swim time).
  • Drowning is the single leading cause of death in children ages 1-4.
  • Drowning is preventable!
  • 88% of child drownings occur with at least one adult present.

What You Can Do:

Learn How to
Recognize Drowning

What Drowning Really Looks Like - Facing Shore, Mouth at Water Level, Head Tilted Back, Body Vertical, Climbing Ladder Motion

Know and practice
the 5 Layers of Protection

5 Layers of Protection

Active Water Watcher

Always have an active water watcher…

  • Adult water watchers can provide close, constant, and capable supervision.
  • Water watchers are never distracted and should never be on their cell phone or engaged in conversations.
  • Water watchers are sober and not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Rotate water watchers every 15 minutes.

And Always Remember To…

  • Identify weak and non-swimmers and always practice touch supervision by being able to reach out and touch non-swimmers at all times.
  • Swim near a lifeguard when possible. Use an adult water watcher even if lifeguards are present.
  • Enroll your child in high-quality swim lessons as early as their first birthday. But remember, even good swimmers can drown.
  • Don’t overly rely on one layer of protection as layers can break down and are designed to be used together to reduce risk.
  • Learn CPR with rescue breaths and what to do in an emergency.
Enroll your child in high-quality swim lessons

Know the 5 Layers of Protection

Prevent the tragedy of drowning by implementing the 5 layers of protection.

Barriers & Alarms

BARRIERS & ALARMS — It's important to use four-sided fencing with self-closing, self-latching gates, pool safety covers, and alarm systems, to help prevent children and unauthorized adults from accessing water unsupervised.

Learn More About Barriers & Alarms

SUPERVISION — Stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings with close, constant, and capable adult supervision from a designated water watcher or lifeguard anytime children are in or around water.

Learn More About Supervision
Water Competency

WATER COMPETENCY — Every child and adult should be equipped with the skills to protect themselves in water by learning and enhancing their basic water safety skills to reduce the risk of drowning and aquatic-related injuries.

Learn More About Water Competency
Life Jackets

LIFE JACKETS — When used appropriately, life jackets protect you when you are not expecting to be in the water, especially around open water. Ensure your life jackets are tested & approved by the USCG.

Learn More About Life Jackets
Emergency Preparation

EMERGENCY PREPARATION — Knowing how to prepare for an emergency with CPR training with rescue breaths and basic water rescue skills can make the difference between life and death. Have a phone available and ready to call 911.

Learn More About Emergency Prep.
Layers Work Together

LAYERS OF PROTECTION — Water safety isn’t just during swim time. Each layer should be used together when in or around water to help reduce the risk of drowning. You never know which layer will save a life.

Learn More About Layers

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