This post was first published on

With summer in full swing and the swim season arriving, you want to make sure that your kids know all about water safety. Providing a friendly water environment for your family is very important.

Accidents Happen

With most swimming accidents happening in backyard pools, it is important that parents take the right precautions and steps to teach their children how to swim. When it comes to water, whether in the bathtub, sink, inflatable pool or ditch filled with rainwater, children should always be supervised.

Swim Lessons

Teaching kids to swim is the first step that you can take to keep kids safe. If you yourself do not swim, it is a good idea to take swim lessons as well. Kids over 4 years of age can benefit from lessons, and those younger might also be able to learn.

Adult supervision is always needed regardless of whether the child is a toddler, infant or simply weak swimmer who isn’t confident in the water. Be sure to pay close attention to your child while they’re in the water, so you can help them if they start to struggle.

Life Vests

Proper-fitting, Coast Guard-approved flotation devices (life vests) have been known to save lives in backyard pools. The child should try on the vest to make sure that it fits properly. It’s important to note that water wings are not as effective as life vests when it comes to safety.

Drinking Water

Kids can get dehydrated from being in the sun, which can lead to dizziness, nausea and feeling lightheaded. Make sure that they stay hydrated with plenty of fluids while outdoors and active near water.

Safety Equipment

With a backyard pool, you should be sure the following have been installed to prevent children from accessing the pool without supervision:

• Fences that are at least 4 feet high

• Gates that are self-latching and self-closing

• A cover for when the pool isn’t in use

Teaching kids not to engage in horseplay or run or push people in the pool is also a wise idea. With a few steps, knowledge and supervision, kids can be safe around water.

Looking for a Salem Oregon Pediatrician? Do you have more questions about raising healthy kids?  Contact our staff at WFMC Health or become a new patient today!