Water Safety Tips For Infants And Toddlers

4 min read

By Dr. Chetan Ginigiri,MBBS(JIPMER), MD (PGIMER), Fellowship PICU (Kings College London)
Head of Dept – Paediatric & Neonatal services, Aster CMI Hospital
17 years of experience

Summer season is kid’s favorite as they get to play in the water, eat ice creams, and because they get maximum holidays as well. This is also the time when they get maximum family time, and being in the pool refreshes them thoroughly. Summer fun is important, but along with it comes the safety of the infants and toddlers, and if proper precautions are not taken, it can lead to drowning as well. Reports have shown that most infants and toddlers drown within the home swimming pools and not the regular ones as there are safety tips taken care of. However, at home, not many do cater to the safety as they feel kids are safe. Apparently, drowning is the main cause of deaths that happen by accident in the last few years.
In case the safety precautions are taken care of, the kids can be safe while they are playing inside the water. One could possess a spa, a pond, a pool, or a hot tub, but safety for each is a must.


Infants and toddlers are always on the move and are too small to understand what is safe for them. As parents and guardians, it is our duty to be alert and cautious with kids as a slightest of mistake can lead them to troubles. Supervision always is a must, and we cannot take anything for granted. Drowning happens when we have least expected it, so it’s best to be alert when kids are near water. Some points to remember:

  • The child should be only on the one hand, distance away.
  • Eliminate distraction while supervising your child
  • Never drink alcohol while supervising your child

For all types of water resources, the safety tabs are different, so let us have a look and see what all are they and their benefits.

Gates, Fences, And Covers:

There are certain standards that are set by the safety standards committee, and one needs to abide by that, and they are as follows:

  • The height of the fences needs to be 4 feet (130 centimeters). The fence should be free of any type of gap or extension. Or else, your child could use to get over, under, or through the fence.
  • The planks should not exceed 4 inches else the child can evade easily.
  • In case of a chain link used, the opening cannot be more than 50 millimeters
  • It should have automatic gates, and the kids should not be able to reach or access the latch.
  • If your pool has a cover, take out it before the swimming time. Also, never permit your little one to walk on the pool cover. There is a high risk of fall through and become trapped below.

However, please note that the alarms or covers are not as effective as fencing.


Other equipment that can be used for safety vests that can be inflated, devices like water wings, power swimmer system that has foam plates that assist in swimming, infant swim shoes, jumper deluxe life jackets that are designed for the kids who are beginners, floatation belts, etc. Also, you should keep the following items easily accessible at your reach.

  • First aid kit
  • Rescue equipment
  • Telephone with the clearly marked emergency numbers.

Safety Tips For Swimming

Swimming is something that is majorly loved by all. Especially kids love to splash and play when they are in the water. There are certain do’s and don’ts that should be taught to kids of all ages to be secure and safe.  Some of the key point to be remembered while swimming is as below:

  • The kids should never push others in the pool.
  • Diving is dangerous in places where it is not marked.
  • It is mandatory to leave the pool if they experience thunder and lightning while they are in the pool.
  • A parent or guardian should be present at all times for the supervision of kids.
  • Never rely on flotation devices or tubes for the child’s safety.
  • Keep emergency numbers handy and keep the phone at your disposal.
  • Learn to administer CPR if required.
  • Be safe when near water, even after the swimming session is over, don’t let the kids be alone as they might get trapped under a pool cover if they try to walk over it.
  • Keep the pool gates locked

Water Safety and Babies

The biggest hazard that infants and toddlers face is that of drowning, apart from the diseases that stem from the contaminated water. The water can have many chemicals and impurities, and if proper hygiene is not maintained, it can lead to a plethora of diseases. It is thus important to take the following measures to ensure hygiene and water safety for babies and toddlers as they are very small and delicate. Few of the measures are as below:

  • Once the baby is done playing with water, always ensure to wash him with a gentle wash and a shampoo to clear off all impurities from the skin and the hair.
  • It is even important to keep the ears of the baby dry so that no water enters the ear leading to infection later.
  • Babies are very delicate, so they tend to lose the heat from the body is the temperature goes below 29°C, leading to acute fever.
  • In case the infant shivers or starts becoming blue, it is advised to instantly remove him from water, make him dry and wrap in a towel.
  • Infants with diapers are very infectious as the water gets infected with parasites, which, when swallowed by other swimmers, babies, toddlers, etc. can result in nausea, weight loss, dehydration, etc.

Thus, the safest bet here is to take care of the hygiene and safety of the baby. It is always important to wash the baby once they play with water. No child suffering from any diseases should be brought to the pool or any area with water as the water gets contaminated by germs leading to diseases. Water, no doubt, is an absolute way to have fun and a great way to be fit, yet it is of utmost importance to get safe first as “health and safety comes first.”

Dr. Chetan Ginigiri,MBBS(JIPMER), MD (PGIMER), Fellowship PICU (Kings College London)
Head of Dept – Paediatric & Neonatal services, Aster CMI Hospital
17 years of experience

Dr Chetan Ginigeri is an experienced Pediatric Intensivist with national and international training. With 15 years of experience, he is one among very few Intensivists in India trained to take care of children who need/had organ transplants. He has been responsible for coordinating the Pediatric Organ Transplant program.Read more.

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