The 2024 Water Safety Season Toolkit Is Now Live


Layers of Protection - Supervision


Close, Constant & Capable Supervision

A pool and other water features can be the centerpiece of any family gathering for good reason, it’s a fun and beautiful oasis. But to a curious young child, water is fascinating and irresistible. Everyone has a responsibility to stay vigilant and aware in all environments involving water. When possible, swim near a lifeguard!

Layers of Protection - General House Rules

General House Rules

Whether there is water around or not, always be aware of where children are and never leave them unattended. Remind guests with children, babysitters, and caregivers about the potential water hazards and the need for constant and capable supervision. If a child is missing, always check the water first. With water safety, time is always of the essence.

Layers of Protection - Active Supervision During Water Activities

Active Supervision During Water Activities

Many drowning incidents occur when people are actively swimming or around water.  An adult should be within arms’ length of infants, toddlers, and children who lack water competency whenever they are in or near water, providing “touch supervision.”  Flotation devices are NOT a substitute for active supervision.

Layers of Protection - Water Watchers & Lifeguards

Water Watchers

A designated Water Watcher is a responsible adult who agrees to actively and constantly supervise children when in or around water without engaging in other activities or distractions (such as social media or texting). Designated Water Watchers should rotate every 15 minutes to keep attention fresh.

Layers of Protection - Lifeguards


Swimming near a lifeguard is always recommended. Lifeguards are trained in supervision, water rescue, and emergency response. Caregivers and parents should always maintain active supervision, even when a lifeguard is on-duty.

Download Your Water Watcher Card!

Make sure your designated Water Watcher is clearly identifiable by downloading and wearing this card when actively supervising children in or around water.

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