Water safety refers to the methods, precautions, and policies correlated with safety in, on, and around bodies of water, where there is a threat of injury or drowning. It has applications in various occupations, sports, and recreational activities.

Why is water safety important?

  • It only takes a moment, a child or weak swimmer can drench in the time it takes to answer a text or check a fishing line.
  • Death and injury from drownings happen every day in home pools and hot tubs, at the beach or in oceans, lakes, rivers and streams, bath tubs, and even buckets.

Where is water safety required?

1. Boating safety

  • Check weather and water conditions before leaving shore.
  • Do not drink and boat. Alcohol is a component in many boating accidents. Assign a designated boat driver who will not drink.
  • Insist that everyone wear a Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device or life jacket while onboard.
  • Always tell individuals where you will be boating, when you expect to be back, and what your boat looks like.
  • Keep Coast Guard-approved visual distress devices, such as pyrotechnic red flares,orange distress flags, or lights on board.
  • Don’t carry more passengers than the maximum listed on the boat’s capacity plate.

2. Home-pool safety

A. Safety musts for children:

  • Never leave a young child alone in a bath tub, wading pool, swimming pool, lake, or river. If you must answer the phone or get a towel, take the child with you.

  • Be aware of backyard pools in your neighborhood or apartment building. Your child could wander off and fall in.

  • Enroll children in swimming lessons taught by qualified instructors. But remember, the lessons won’t make children “drown-proof.”
  • Teach your older children that they risk drowning when they overestimate their swimming ability or underestimate water depth.

B. Safety musts for adults:

  • Take swimming lessons from a qualified instructor if you’re not a strong, competent swimmer.
  • Don’t swim if you’ve been drinking alcohol.
  • Don’t swim alone or allow others to do so.
  • Stay out of the water during thunderstorms and other severe weather. During lightning storms, seek shelter away from metal objects, open areas, and large, lone trees.
  • Don’t exceed your swimming ability. Know your limits and stick to them.
  • Check the water level before diving into a pool, ocean, pond, reservoir, or lake. Always dive with your arms extended firmly over your head and your hands together.
  • Don’t dive into unknown bodies of water, like lakes, rivers, quarries, or irrigation ditches. Jump feet first to avoid hitting your head (and breaking your neck or back) on a shallowbottom, hidden rock, or other obstruction.

Methods to help people while drowning and ourselves.

1. Get Help

  • Notify a lifeguard, if one is close. If not, ask someone to call 911.
  • If you are alone, follow the steps below.

2. Move the Person

  • Take the person out of the water.

3. Check for Breathing

  • Place your ear next to the person’s mouth and nose.
  • Look to see if the person’s chest is moving.

4. If the Person is Not Breathing, Check Pulse

  • Check the person’s pulse for 10 seconds.

5. If There Is No Pulse, Start CPR

A. For an adult:

  • Carefully place the person on their back.
  • Place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest at the nipple line. You can also push with one hand on top of the other.
  • Press down at least 2 inches. Make sure not to press on ribs.
  • Do chest compressions only, at the rate of 100-120 per minute or more. Let the chest rise completely between pushes.
  • Check to see if the person has started breathing.

B. For a child, CPR starts with rescue breathing:

  • Carefully place the child on their back.
  • Tilt the head back and lift the chin. For a baby, be careful not to tilt the head back too far.
  • With an older child, pinch the nose closed and put your mouth over the child’s mouth, forming a tight seal. With an infant, place your mouth over both the baby’s nose and mouth.
  • Blow into the child’s mouth for 1 second. You should see their chest rise.
  • Repeat the breath a second time.

6. Then begin chest compressions:

  • For a child, place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest at the nipple line. For an infant, place two fingers on the breastbone.
  • Press down at least 2 inches for a child, about 1 and 1/2 inches for an infant. Make sure not to press on the ribs or the end of the breastbone.
  • Do 30 chest compressions, at the rate of 100 per minute. Let the chest rise completely between pushes.
  • Check to see if the child has started breathing.If you’re alone, take a break to call 911 after 2 minutes of CPR.


  • Water safety encompasses a person’s behavior in and around the water.
  • Never Swim Alone.
  • Supervise Children When they’re in the water.
  • Don’t Play Breath-Holding Games.
  • Always Wear a Life Vest.
  • Don’t Jump in the Water to Save a Friend.
  • Enter the Water Feet First.
  • Stay Away From Pool Drains.