baby development

Water safety for young swimmers

Helpful safety advice when taking your little one swimming

Staying safe when swimming with babies

How to stay safe in and out the pool with your baby while having fun

Water safety

Swimming with your baby is fun and relaxing, but being around water with babies and children can be dangerous so it's important to know how to stay safe.

Getting in

The best way to enter the pool is to safely lay your baby on a towel at the poolside with their feet pointing towards the water, lower yourself in and then lift your baby in with you. If you're very nervous about entering the water, take a friend with you the first few times you go as an extra pair of hands will be very useful.

In the water

Once in the water there are a number of ways to hold your baby depending on what you want to do. Hug your baby close to begin with so that your baby feels secure and protected while they adjust to the water.

When your baby is ready to move away a little, hold them under the arms between your thumb and forefinger. This way you can safely move your baby away from you and back while keeping eye contact.

If you want to let your baby float on their back, hold them under the arms with feet away from you so that your forearms support their head and you can keep your face close to theirs to reassure them.

As your baby gets older you can try floatation devices such as armbands, inflatable swim seats and floatation vests, which will give her bit of independence. Make sure that anything you use is the right size for your baby and that you keep your eyes on them at all times.

Getting out

To get out of the water, lie your baby on the poolside as before, climb out of the pool then pick them up and wrap them in a towel to keep them snug until they're dressed.

More safety tips:

  • It seems obvious but never leave children unsupervised while you're in or around water as accidents can happen in seconds.
  • Babies can get cold quickly. Watch for signs that your little one is feeling the cold, like goose bumps, shivering or pale lips, and leave the water as soon as you spot that they are.
  • Teach your child about safety in and around water from an early age so that they learn to respect it and keep themselves safe.

Water safety for young swimmers