Water safety tips from AboutKidsHealth

Over the next few months, CAPHC Conversations will be featuring articles and resources from the AboutKidsHealth website.  For more information on AboutKidsHealth, check out their website, or contact Sean Schurr at sean.schurr@sickkids.ca.

This summer, plenty of fun activities will draw your child to water. Drowning can happen in as short a time as 20 seconds, so it is important to be vigilant to ensure your child’s safety.

AboutKidsHealth has provided water safety tips for parents and caregivers to make sure kids stay safe this summer. For more information on water safety, visit AboutKidsHealth.

Water safety

Always watch your child when they are playing in or close to water. Closely monitor your child while they are swimming — if they are in distress, they will not be able to yell for help.

Your child can drown in places you wouldn’t necessarily expect. In addition to pools, lakes, and other bodies of water, make sure to carefully watch your child in the bathroom and in shallow water — even if it is only inches deep. Stay within an arm’s reach of young children playing in water.

Signs of drowning

Visible signs your child is drowning include floating face down, head back with mouth open, and gasping for air. If your child is unresponsive, yell for help and begin CPR. CPR is the combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths (or mouth-to- mouth resuscitation) administered in emergency situations.

Delayed drowning

Drowning isn’t always immediate. Delayed drowning can occur when a baby or child experiences complications between one to 24 hours after a near-drowning experience. Even if your baby or child seems to have recovered, take them to a doctor to ensure they have no complications from delayed drowning. Symptoms of delayed drowning include fever, trouble breathing, and feeling very sleepy or moody.

For more information on how to give CPR and recognize signs of drowning, visi http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/En/HealthAZ/SafetyandtheEnvironment/OutdoorSafety/Pages/WaterSafety.aspx.

AboutKidsHealth is SickKids’ patient-education website and features more than 3,000 articles on a range of paediatric health topics. For more information on water safety and other topics, please visit www.aboutkidshealth.ca.


The CAPHC team is always interested in learning more about what is happening in the paediatric health care community. If you have a program, event, website, or initiative that you would like to share with the country, email info@caphc.org for more information.