Tips for a Safe Summer For Children

Medically Reviewed by: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Millions of families plan to enjoy summer vacations and recreational activities with their children. To really enjoy these activities, the safety of the children should be a primary concern.

Pool Safety

  • Never leave children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment.

  • Make sure adults watching young children in the pool know CPR and can rescue a child if necessary.

  • Surround your pool - on all four sides - with a sturdy five-foot fence.

  • Make sure the gates self-close and self-latch at a height children can't reach.

  • Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd's hook - a long pole with a hook on the end - and life preserver) and a telephone near the pool.

  • Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as "floaties". They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children a false sense of security.

  • Children are not developmentally ready for swim lessons until after their fourth birthday. Swim programs for children under the age of 4 should not be seen as a way to decrease the risk of drowning.

  • Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm's length, providing "touch supervision."

  • Don't swim when you have diarrhea. This is especially important for children and infants in diapers. You can spread germs into the water and make other people sick.

  • Don't swallow pool water. In fact, try to avoid getting any pool water in your mouth.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet or changing diapers. You can protect others by being aware that germs on your body end up in the water.