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Prevention
Adult Supervision

SAFER: Adult Supervision

Adult supervision is the most important layer of protection. All children should be taught to never go near the water without an adult. Just as you teach a child to never cross the street alone, teach them to never go near the water alone. Think of water as a busy intersection. No one should swim alone.

Tips

  1.  Supervision should be with full attention and zero distractions.

  2.  Do not drink alcohol when supervising.

  3. ​ Touch supervision means being in the water and in arm’s reach and should be provided for young children and non-swimmers.

  4. ​ Get a Water Watcher badge and take the Water Watcher pledge.

    • The person wearing the badge is completely and fully responsible for watching and supervising. Water Watcher badges should be used even if lifeguards are present. The person who is the Water Watcher commits to full attention, putting aside the phone and avoiding any distractions. If the Water Watcher needs to do anything else, they give the Water Watcher badge to another person. Water Watcher badges and lanyards are available from SWIM ON Foundation.

  5. ​ Supervise children even at public pools with a lifeguard present. Lifeguards don’t see everything. 

    • Don’t put your child’s life solely in the hands of a lifeguard. Many times the pools are crowded. There’s a lot of noise and it’s impossible for one person to never take their eyes off of everyone in the pool.​​​

  6.  Never leave an infant or young child in a tub – not even for a minute.

  7.  ​If a child is missing, check the pool first.

  8. ​ When having a pool party, consider hiring a Backyard Lifeguard from the St. Louis company that provides trained lifeguards for parties and events.

  9.  ​Do not have bikes or ride-able toys in the pool area.

If you have any questions or additional information that you think could be helpful to this page or drowning prevention in general, please do not hesitate to contact the SWIM ON Foundation.

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The Stats

  • ​19% of drowning deaths involving children occur in public pools with certified lifeguards present.

  • Two-thirds of deaths of children under age one occur in the bathtub.

Babysitters & Caregivers

Make sure babysitters and caregivers know the importance of supervision.

Use our Checklist!

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SWIM ON Foundation is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization. EIN: 83-4306115