Author: Kelly Rae, Owner of Oceanic Waterbabies.


With summer approaching, beaches and pools become magnets for our leisure time, highlighting the need for safety and fun, especially for babies and children.

Summer is a time when thousands of families get to enjoy the water together, healthy active bonding time for parents and children, but also it is a time of potential dangers. Sadly, in 2018/2019 the RLSSA reported 276 people lost their lives to drowning, 19 being children between 0-4yrs. Although this is a 12% increase in this age group on the previous year, there is GOOD NEWS!  There has been a 30% reduction is drownings (0-4yrs) compared with the 10-year average. Well done to the vigilant water watch!

The joy of a day at the beach or the pool can so easily turn tragic, for many reasons, including lack of supervision, poor aquatic skills and unpredictable environmental conditions.

Of course, the benefits parents and children can experience from engagement with water are unquestionable and it can be safe by being aware of some basic water safety rules.

10 hot tips for water safety and fun this summer

  1. Constant, Constant, Constant Supervision

This means constant, visual contact and being within ARMS REACH of your child at all times.

      2. Be present 

Phones and social media are incredibly distracting at the best of times and when you are around water they can be a deadly distraction. Focus on your child and the environment.

  1. Be water-wise

Secure pool areas, ponds and other bodies of water – check fences & gates and remove items that can be used for climbing. Empty paddle pools, buckets, sinks and troughs when not in use and put the loo lid down.

      4. Learn to swim

Choosing the right swim school can set your kids up for a lifetime of aquatic enjoyment. Know your own and your child’s swimming ability to maximise enjoyment and stay safe.

     5. Swim often and swim together 

Parents can keep children safe, strengthen bonding and build trust by swimming together. to build confidence, develop skills and remember children learn through play – so keep it FUN.

     6. Know your swimming environment

Deep water, shallow water, cold and warm water, rips & hazards and locate entry and exit points at the pool such as steps and ramps and at the beach, swim between the flags.

     7. Mix it up

Experiencing shallow and deep, cold and warmer water swimming is vital for all-round aquatic development. Being able to adapt and transfer skills to different environments is a worthy goal.

     8. Floatation devices

Too often “floaties” are used as a replacement for supervision and can compromise a child’s water safety. They are NOT lifesaving devices as clearly and wisely stated on the product. Parents are and will always be their child’s best floatation device.

  1. At home

Use the bath, fill up the paddle pool, jump in the pool (if you have one) introduce goggles, play games, turn on the sprinkler (be aware water restrictions) arm yourself with water pistols, bazookas and water balloons.

    10. Learn CPR

Precious life-saving skills.


OK here’s one more – if you’re in the sun remember to Slip Slop Slap and of course have FUN.

Starting your child’s engagement in water from the earliest possible age will promote a love of water for life, develop important skills and gain a healthy respect for the aquatic environment.

With over 30 years of teaching parents to teach their babies to swim, I have witnessed the physical, emotional and social benefits for children and the positive flow-on effects to their immediate families, extended families and the greater community.

Oceanic Waterbabies are specialists in infant aquatics, teaching families in a positive, nurturing, fun environment with great outcomes all round.

Learn to swim at Oceanic Waterbabies

For more information on teaching your baby to swim visit our website. (


You may also like to read:

Drowning and Water Safety

Safe Approach this Summer Season