Water Safety Tips | Denver YMCA

Water Safety Tips

Creating Safer Waters

Follow these water safety tips during the summer and year-round. And discover more ways to be safe in the water through YMCA swim lessons, swim team, and lifeguard training.

  1. Watch your “TOOs.” If you’re TOO tired, TOO cold, have had TOO much sun, or are straining TOO much – get out of the water!
  2. Take breaks. At the pool or water park, plan to get out of the water at regular times to hydrate and reapply sunscreen.
  3. Watch the water! Set down the phone and magazines and focus on your swimmers! Stay close by and don’t look away!
  4. Drink lots of water! It’s easy to get dehydrated playing and sweating in the sun. Look for signs of light-headedness or dizziness, and keep your water bottle with you.
  5. Swim with a friend! The buddy system is an excellent way to stay safe and ensure no swimmer is left alone.
  6. Learn to swim! Basic swim instruction can help prevent drowning. Learn more about YMCA swim lessons for all ages.
  7. Practice kid-play – not horseplay! Refrain from dunking, hanging on, or goofing off in the water, which can increase risk of injury.
  8. Don’t drink the pool water! And to prevent choking, don’t chew gum or eat while you’re swimming or playing in the water.
  9. Don’t be a risk taker. Swim in your comfort zone and keep close by your friends. Stay where someone can see you.
  10. Never assume someone is watching. Even with a lifeguard on duty, your child can still be at risk in and around the water.
  11. Throw! Don’t go. If your friend is struggling in the water, do not jump in to save them. Instead throw them a noodle, towel, or pole.
  12. Know what’s under the water. If you’re swimming in lakes or streams, be aware of hidden obstacles you can’t see – like drop-offs, slick moss, or rocks.
  13. Wear a jacket, not a toy. If you’re on a boat or in open water, wear a life jacket. Water wings, noodles, or inner-tubes are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
  14. Watch children anywhere there’s water. A pool, spa, bathtub, toilet, or even bucket of standing water can create the potential for drowning and threaten a child’s safety.
  15. Watch where you dive. Most spinal cord injuries result from diving into shallow water. Dive only where it’s deep and only in approved, designated areas.
  16. Follow the rules. Teach kids to obey lifeguards’ instructions and the posted rules. They are there to keep everyone safe.
  17. Watch the skies. If you see lightning, or strong winds or thunderstorms approaching, get out of the water.
  18. Put the pool toys away. It can be tempting for children on the side to reach for floating toys and accidentally fall in the pool. Remove toys from the water when they’re not in use, and store them away from the water’s edge.
  19. Check your systems. Regularly test the chemical levels, circulation, and filtration in your pool or hot tub, and adjust them as needed.
  20. Watch out for aquatic life. Avoid stepping on patches of plants in the ocean or lake. And be on the lookout for creatures that can sting or bite.