Water safety

Children and water safety

No kiwi summer is complete without some fun in the water. Sadly each year, lives are lost in the water. Drowning is the third major cause of accidental death for pre-school children.

Drowning is a silent action and can take only a minute. You will not know if your child needs help if you are not watching them.

Here are some other important tips for keeping safe around water:

At the beach


  • If there is are Surf Live Savers, always swim between the flags
  • If you need help, raise your arm and call for help. Keep calm
  • never swim alone or at night or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • never run and dive into the water
  • even if the Surf Life Savers are on hand, never let your young child in the water without an adult
  • if you get caught in a rip, do not panic. Paddle and swim parallel to the shore toward the breaking waves. Don't fight the rip
  • always make sure 1 adult is looking out for the child - have a formal handover between adults

For more beach safety advice, visit WaterSafety New Zealand

On the boat

  • all on board should wear a properly fitting life jacket at all times
  • consider a harness for young children
  • when there are children on board, there needs to be at least 2 adults

For more boating safety information, visit WaterSafety New Zealand


At the pool


  • Home swimming pools and spa pools represent the greatest single danger for preschoolers around water. Drowing can happen in a few seconds
  • Ensure the your home pool meets the requirements under the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987
  • ALWAYS supervise your children in the pool - there is no substitute for supervision, no matter how water confident your child is
  • Never dive into above ground pools. Dive only at the diving board end of an inground pool
  • if a child is missing, ALWAYS check the pool first

For more information, visit WaterSafety New Zealand

Find more Summer articles

This article was written for Kidspot. Resouces include WaterSafety New Zealand


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