Keep water safe

Keep water safe

Summer days spent cooling off at the beach, splashing in the pool, or relaxing out on the boat – we dream of them all winter.

It is important to begin your child's aquatic education early and is as simple as taking them to a pool for a fun splash around. It is crucial that every New Zealander can learn to enjoy the water from an early age so they can learn essential aquatic skills to keep them safe.

Never leave young children unsupervised near water always keep within arm's reach of your child when they are in and around water never leave children, especially those under 5 years of age, unsupervised near water, including baths, buckets, ponds, streams and water troughs.

Here are some top tips to keep water safe no matter where you are.

  1. Constant active adult supervision at all times, attentive supervision is most effective at preventing drowning.
  2. Always keep babies and toddlers within arms' reach around water. It takes less than a minute for a child to drown.
  3. Always make sure at least one adult is looking out for the child/ren. Take it in turns and have a formal handover between adults.
  4. Teach your children water safety behaviour
  5. As soon as they are old enough to understand, teach your children things like: ‘Never go near the water unless you’re with a grown up’. It is important our children are taught that while water is to be enjoyed, it must also be respected. It is imperative they are taught about the risks and dangers associated with water based activities.
  6. Look for swim programs that teach children how to get out if they end up in the water unexpectedly.
  7. Learn CPR and basic water rescue skills. It is important to know how to respond in an emergency

At home

When you think of places where kids are around water, you may think of recreational areas such as pools, lakes, and oceans. But have you thought about the areas in your home where kids can get into water? 

  • Identify water hazards in and around the home.
  • Empty tubs, buckets, containers and kids’ pools immediately after use. Store them upside down and out of children’s reach.

At the pool

  • Ensure your home pool meets the requirements under the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act. 
  • Do not run around a pool – always walk.
  • Floatation aids and swimming lessons are not a substitute for supervision.

On the boat

  • Boating is exciting – but also requires some special rules to make sure everyone is safe.
  • All onboard should wear a properly fitting life jacket at all times.

At the beach

  • If there are Surf Live Savers, always swim between the flags.
  • If you need help, raise your arm and call for help. Keep calm.
  • If the sea is rough, do not go in.

Public pools

  • Always visually supervise your child even if there are lifeguards present.

Water play is a big part of summer fun. Creating safe environments for children around water is the first step to making sunny-day family memories that will last a lifetime.