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Three Water Safety Skills Children Should Acquire

There are a few very basic safety skills that are potentially life saving for children when age appropriate for them to learn and remember.

Children should be comfortable in the water and have the foundational training to enable them to use these skills to prevent any adverse effects that forcing these skills on them can have. Building a skills foundation is important so that a child isn’t stressed when learning safety skills. Children should be comfortable in the water and strong swimmer.

  1. Jump and Swim Back

Teach young ones to jump in the water-turn around and swim back to the side. This is the most practical method of self-rescue for them since many accidents occur near the edge of a pool or other bodies of water.

  1. Head Above Water.

Learning to recover their heads above the water allows children to take bites of air. But teaching this skill too soon puts the body in a vertical position in the water and interrupts forward progress.

  1. Roll Over

Rolling over to the back gives children a chance to breathe. This can be the most intimidating of our basic safety skills if attempted prematurely. Once children have learned to sit up, it’s likely that they won’t readily accept learning this skill.

It is important not to force the learning of this skill. Most will be willing to try this around the ages of 3 or 4. Using playful methods, this skill can be taught in a non-stressful way.

These skills – when combined with a drowning prevention plan – can help to minimize the potential of water related accidents from taking place. It is important that this take place as children are age appropriate so that they are prepared physically, mentally, emotionally and socially.

We cannot expect infants and young children to take full responsibility for their own safety in and around the water. Unfortunately, even parental supervision cannot keep children totally safe. That is why these skills are important since they can keep children from drowning until an adult can get them to safety.


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