Kids Safety 101
baby smiling in blue bathtub

Life-Saving Basics: Water Safety in the Home

Did you know that drowning is a leading cause of injury-related death in children younger than 4? In fact, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death, behind motor vehicle crashes.

But water safety isn’t just about keeping kids safe in the pool, or the ocean. Water safety at home is also incredibly important. In fact, children less than a year old are more likely to drown at home.

As you can imagine, it is important for parents to know how to protect kids, avoid risks, and respond in an emergency situation.


Quite possibly one of the most important water safety tip ever? Kids must be supervised whenever they are around water. Period. This applies to pools, oceans, lakes, and even bathtubs, wading pools, or even an ornamental fish pond in the yard.

Small children can drown in less than 2 inches of water, which means they are particularly at risk in the home. Drowning could happen in a sink, a toilet bowl, buckets, inflatable pools, or even standing rainwater in a ditch.

Even if your child has had swimming lessons, they still require supervision. Even the best of swimmers could accidentally slip and fall on a wet surface, losing consciousness.

Empty Pools and Tubs After Use

All bathtubs, kiddie pools, buckets, and other containers should be emptied immediately after use.

Any containers that can collect water should be stored upside down, so that they can’t collect water later.

Fence Your Pool

If you have a pool in your backyard, install a fence that surrounds all sides of the pool. It should be at least four feet tall, to keep children unable to fall into the pool. The fence should also have a self-closing and self-latching gate. This way, you can’t accidentally leave it open.

Other Indoor Water Hazards

Bathtubs are the obvious water hazard in your home, but they aren’t the only ones. To keep younger kids safe, keep the toilet lid closed, and install a toilet lid locking device.

If possible, keep the bathroom and laundry room doors closed at all times. Depending on your child, you may also need a child safety lock on the doorknobs.

Promptly wipe up any water spills in the home, whether from a bathtub, sink, toilet, or simply a spill from a cup.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Know what to do and how to respond in case of an emergency. Survival depends on quick response and proper care.

Knowing CPR and basic water rescue skills could help you save a life, or prevent injuries or brain damage.

You can find CPR certification through the American Heart Association, the Red Cross, your local fire department, and local schools. Students in middle and high schools can often get CPR training in the classroom.

You can even take online CPR certification courses. Look for CPR certification providers that are AHA- or Red Cross-compliant, with experienced instructors and in-depth video content. Additionally, look for programs that have great reviews, and a history of several years in business.

Kat Sweet