ABC's of Water Safety

ABC's of Water Safety

Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1 to 14. Practice the ABC's of water safety to keep you and your family safe in and around water.

A - Adult Supervision. Always watch your child around all bodies of water (pool, spa, bath tub, lake etc...) Never leave them alone!

B - Barriers. Install and maintain an isolation fence seperating your pool and spa from the house and play yard.

C - CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). You are your child's first responder. Knowing how to react to a drowning can make the difference between life and death. To schedule a class please call any one of the following numbers: TFD Save-A-Life 837-7101, America Red Cross 623-0541, or the American Heart Association 795-1403.

Tucson Fire Department Water Safety Brochure (pdf)

Tucson Fire Department Water Safety Brochure Spanish Version (pdf)


Watch the video below to see how we can all keep our children safe around water.

Click on the picture to play

Water Safety Tips

  1. Teach your child how to swim.
  2. Designate an adult to supervise children around water, especially at social gatherings.
  3. Children are not "water safe". Swimming skills and flotation devices are not a substitute for supervision.
  4. Don't dive or jump into the water. Always wade in first to avoid hitting your head on a shallow bottom.
  5. Don't push or jump on others.
  6. Always completely remove the cover before using the pool or spa. Children can become trapped under these types of covers.
  7. Use only U.S. Coast Guard approved flotation devices.
  8. Remove toys and other play things away from the pool area. This will prevent young children from wanting to enter the pool area.
  9. A child can drown in as little as two inches of water. Always empty water in buckets, ice chests and bath tubs
  10. Have a phone located near the pool area so that 9-1-1 can be called immediately in case of a drowning.

Remember - Children Aren't Waterproof!

  • Most drownings and near-drownings happen when a child accidentally falls into a pool or is left alone in the tub.
  • Drownings can happen in a matter of seconds. A child can drown in the time it takes to answer the phone.
  • Never leave a child alone or with a sibling in the tub...not even to answer the phone or to get a towel. If you must leave, take the child with you.
  • Always watch your child by the pool, spa, beach, or lake. Beware of backyard pools and spas in the neighborhood.Your child could wander off and accidentally fall in. Install a pool side telephone.
  • Enroll children over age 3 in swimming lessons taught by qualified instructors. But keep in mind that lessons don't make your child "drown-proof."
  • Never let older children swim in unsupervised areas like quarries, canals, or ponds. Older kids are at risk of drowning when they overestimate their ability or underestimate how deep the water is.
  • Install a four-sided fence around your pool or spa. The house should not be used as one of the four sides. The fence should be five feet high and have a self-closing and self-latching gate.
  • Never leave 5-gallon buckets (even with a small amount of liquid) in an area accessible to children.  Infants and toddlers are top-heavy and may be unable to remove themselves if they were to fall in.
  • Enroll in CPR classes in your community. The life you save may be your child's life.

Become a Designated Child Watcher

The Tucson Fire Department promotes the supervision of children around water by providing the community with Designated Child Watcher Neck Wallets. These wallets are intended to be worn by a designated adult in order to help identify who is taking responsibility for children around water. The Designated Child Watcher agrees to focus ALL of their attention on the safety of the children and does not leave the area for ANY reason.  This responsibility ends only when the wallet is passed to the next adult or the water activity ends. If you would like to receive a Designated Child Watcher Neck Wallet, please call 791-4502.

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