Water Safety

If You Experience a Water-Related Emergency, Visit Your Local Emergency Department or Call 911.

Find a Nuvance Emergency Department

Drowning is a leading cause of death among children. Developing water competency skills can help make water activities safe and fun.


If a child is missing, check the water first because seconds count in preventing drowning. Keep a cell phone handy to call 911 in case of an emergency. 

Drowning Prevention

Drowning prevention begins with learning water safety skills and how to swim. According to the CDC, formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children ages 1 to 4. Additional steps to prevent drowning include:


Active supervision

Make sure you supervise kids when they are in or around the water, even when lifeguards are present:

  • Only swim in lifeguard-supervised areas
  • Swim with a buddy, even at a public pool or lifeguarded beach
  • Never leave supervision to another child
  • Always stay within an arm’s reach of young children
  • Avoid distractions
  • Inexperienced and non-swimmers should always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved lifejacket

Prevent unsupervised water access

Teach children to ask permission before going near the water. Additionally:

  • Ensure that pool barriers enclose the entire pool area, are at least 4-feet high, and have self-closing and self-latching gates
  • Remove access ladders and secure safety covers on above-ground or inflatable pools
  • Remove structures such as furniture, trees or playground equipment that provide easy access to the pool or spa
  • Keep toys out of the water so as not to attract young children to the pool

Boat Safety

Most boating fatalities occur from drowning. If you go boating:

  • Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket
  • Be cautious around shorelines–cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into the water dangerous
  • Avoid alcohol, which impairs judgment, balance and coordination 

Emergency Services Following Drowning

If your loved one experiences a boat crash or drowning, call 911. You can count on Nuvance Health emergency services for prompt, excellent service.