Home > Fire Rescue > Safety Tips > Recreational Safety > Drowning is Preventable

Safety Tips: Drowning is Preventable

It takes only inches of water for a small child to drown so taking extra safety steps at home and around pools, spas and all bodies of water can prevent drowning incidents.

  • The majority of deaths and injuries in pools and spas involve children 1-2 years of age and occur in residential settings.
  • Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional deaths to children 1-4 years of age.
  • Drowning occurs when there is a short lapse in adult supervision.
  • Little children drown quickly and silently.

Rule #1 Never leave a child unattended around a pool, spa, bath tub or any other body of water.

  • Teach children basic water safety skills.
  • Learn how to swim and ensure that your children learn to swim as well.
  • Avoid entrapment by keeping children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings.
  • Have a phone close by at all times when visiting a pool or spa.
  • If a child is missing, look for them in the pool or spa first, including the neighbors' pools or spas.
  • Share safety instructions with family, friends, babysitters and neighbors.

If you have a pool:

  • Install a 4-foot fence around the perimeter of the pool and spa, including portable pools.
  • Use self-closing and self-latching gates.
  • If your house serves as the fourth side of a fence around a pool, install and use a door or pool alarm.
  • Maintain pool and spa covers in good working order.
  • Ensure any pool or spa you use has compliant drain covers.
  • Have equipment such as life rings, floats, or a reaching pole available and easily accessible.

At home:

  • Always keep young children within arm's reach in a bathtub. If you must leave, take your child with you.
  • Don't leave a baby or young child in a bathtub under the care of another young child.
  • Never leave a bucket or basin containing even a small amount of liquid unattended.
  • Consider placing locks and toilet seat covers in case a young gild wanders into the bathroom.

Read more about drowning prevention.