Ron Arendas, the Water Safety Guy

Promoting Lifeguarding, Water Safety, and First Aid Education and Training
Home      INFO: Water Safety
Print this pageAdd to Favorite

Water Safety for Everyone!

Water safety is important for everyone, but especially for parents, adoptive/foster parents, and others who work with and supervise children. In the United States, the two groups that have the highest risk of drowning are children under 6 years old and young adults 15 to 24 years old. Males are 4 times more likely to drown than females.

Home Water Safety

Two layers of protection most important for the safety of small children are:

  • Constant adult supervision
  • Barriers that prevent unsupervised access to pools, bathtubs, toilets, basins, and other sources of water in and around the home 
There are programs that teach survival skills to infants and toddlers, but these programs are at best secondary to the two layers of protection above, and, in fact, these survival skills can be detrimental if they give the parent or guardian a false assurance that an infant or toddler will be OK unsupervised around the water. The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that children are not ready for swimming lessons until after their 4th birthday. Older children should learn to swim, follow rules for pool use, and never swim alone or unsupervised.

Water Safety Away from Home

Always keep the following in mind: 

  • Swim in designated swimming areas only and especially in areas supervised by lifeguards
  • Even if lifeguards are watching, supervise your family at all times (as though the lifeguard isn't there!)
  • Teach children to recognize and avoid dangerous conditions like: murky water, shore-breaking surf, waves and rocks, currents, yellow and red flags at the beach, etc.
  • Wear life jackets and use other safety equipment when appropriate
  • Follow all safety rules for the aquatic environment
  • Protect your family's eyes, skin, and feet

Water Safety on the Job

If you work around the water, make sure you:

  • Have an emergency action plan
  • Know, follow, and enforce safety rules regarding water entry/exit and activities
  • Conduct instruction, therapy, and other activities safely and with continuous supervision
  • Have access to appropriate safety and rescue equipment
  • Make appropriate rescues (i.e., reach, throw, row [open water only], and tow) if necessary. Only on-duty lifeguards should make swimming rescues!

Additional Information

For more information about water safety, check out the links below.

Basic Water Safety Tips

Parent/Guardian Information

Water Safety for Educators

Beach Safety

Boating Safety

Home Pool/Water Safety

Hotel/Motel Pools (Unsupervised)

Lakes, Rivers, Canals, Dams, Etc.


Water Safety for Kids

Products and Technologies

Simple Assists

Sun Safety