Keep Your Little Swimmers Safe

Stephanie Reynolds, D.O.
Emergency Medicine

With summer’s final bow drawing closer, you can bet kids everywhere are just itching for one final chance to hit the surf.

And while no summer is complete without a rip-roaring final act, don't forget that safety should always come first. 


Keep your child safe in and around the water by following these tips, courtesy of Stephanie Reynolds, D.O.

  • Never leave your child in or around a pool without adult supervision. The adult on watch shouldn’t be distracted by any other activity, such as reading, while on duty.

  • Infants and toddlers should be within an arm’s length of an adult when they are in or near the water.

  • Remove pool toys after everyone gets out of the water, so that children aren’t tempted to reach for them later.

  • Don’t use air-filled or foam toys - such as floaties, noodles or water wings - in place of approved life jackets. These toys aren’t designed for safety.

  • Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). It could help you rescue a drowning child.


If you plan on heading to the beach, here are some essentials to pack to help ensure a safe day at the shore, according to Paul Sunkavalli, M.D.

  • Sandals to protect against sharp objects or hot sand

  • Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher; sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, after drying off and even on cloudy days.

  • An umbrella or canopy for shade

  • Bottles of water to help your family stay hydrated

  • Life jackets if you plan to go boating or engage in water activities; take additional precautions if your children are young and will be playing in or near the water

  • A cooler with ice packs to keep foods at or below 40 degrees

  • Moist towelettes or hand sanitizer to clean hands

Also check with the local environmental office to see whether your beach is monitored for health hazards and water quality, Sunkavalli says.

Before you hit the surf, stop by for more water safety essentials!