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health and care

Baby and toddler water safety: The facts

Simple and easy tips to ensure your baby or toddler’s complete safety in the water

How to keep babies and toddlers safe in the water

The important tips you need to ensure your baby or toddler is completely protected when in the water this summer

Toddler boy in pool

A child can drown in less than 2cm of water and drowning is the second leading cause of injury related death in Europe - and the third highest cause of accidental death of children in this country.

70% of children who drown are boys and most drowning accidents with children occur within the first hour of a holiday when distracted parents are trying to familiarise themselves with their location and sort the unpacking.

All very good reasons why you need to have your wits about you and watch little ones at all times.

Swimming pools are much safer option than the sea but always check the depth water follow and layout of the pool – especially at leisure pools and holiday resorts which can have wave machines.
Adult supervision

• Always stay within arm’s reach of children and never more than four feet away
• Agree which adult is the designated ‘child watcher’ They shouldn’t be talked to or distracted and should swap every 20 minutes
• Adults should show children where the deep end is, but also where the pool transitions to be too deep for the child to stand 
• For little children and non-swimmers never go deeper than belly buttons!
• Always tell children that they must ask permission before ever getting in the water

The risks of drowning may be lower at home but paddling pools can still be hazardous so again:

• Always tell you toddler they must ask before getting in the paddling pool
• Always empty paddling pools and buckets as soon as they have been used 
• Turn paddling pools them upside down once they are empty to prevent a child from filling it up unsupervised.


Baby and toddler water safety: The facts