Last Words on Kids and Water Safety…

Global Water SafetyIt is with sadness that I am ending my time as the water safety expert on Pediatric Safety. I am working on a project to bring global awareness to the issue of water safety and have decided that I need to focus 100% of my time to that effort. Over the last four years I’ve shared information designed specifically to keep your child safer. Today I’d like to pull back and show you the bigger picture, in part so that you will understand why I am driven to create awareness on a global level, and in part so that you understand why teaching your child water safety now will keep them safer for their entire life, no matter where they live or travel.

  • Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death globally, but 90% of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income country.
  • Children under age five are most at risk for drowning and age two is the most common age for drowning.
  • In countries like the U.S., for every child that drowns, another five have a non-fatal drowning accident, often resulting in lifelong mental and physical damage. Most emergency room visits for children are for drowning.
  • We don’t have the data to count most drowning deaths in the world, so we know the problem is even worse than the numbers show. There is no global strategic effort to end drowning, relatively few programs in place to teach survival swimming and water safety, and virtually no funding.

Now for the good news. Drowning is preventable and the actions are in your control.

Here is what you need to do to keep your child safer:

  • Install a four-sided fence around your pool with a self-closing and self-locking gate. Empty buckets, ornamental ponds, and splash pools when not in immediate use.
  • Supervise young children and non-swimmers around water, meaning you are close enough to touch them. Leave your phone in the bag – texting and water are just as dangerous as texting and driving. This means in the bath, at the pool, by the lake, or even the drainage ditch after a rainstorm.
  • Teach school age children basic swimming, water safety, and safe water rescue skills.
  • Learn CPR and safe water rescue skills.
  • Teach others – most people aren’t even aware drowning is an issue. All it takes is two minutes and two inches of water and drowning is completely silent. Don’t be afraid to speak up, you could save a child’s life.

Many thanks to the Pediatric Safety team for being willing to devote attention to the neglected issue of water safety and to children’s safety in general. Additional thanks for their consistent and enthusiastic support of my work. It has truly been an honor to work with them. Finally, thank you for taking the time to learn about water safety. Parenting is hard and time-consuming work and there are many days when adding one more thing seems overwhelming. Thank you for keeping water safety on your ‘to do’ list – it really does make a difference.

For more information on the global issue of drowning:

About the Author

Global water safety for children is my passion and I can't wait to get up every day to work at it! I blog about water safety regularly at, or you can follow me on Twitter at RebeccaSaveKids. Rebecca is a former member of the PedSafe Expert team


One Response to “Last Words on Kids and Water Safety…”

  1. JS says:

    Thank you for your work! I would love to know your thoughts on one adult taking children swimming, if the children are young (between 5 and 10 years old) and are not strong swimmers, and they are in a private backyard pool (i.e. not a community pool with other adults around that could help if needed).

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!