How to keep swimmers and kids safe in pools and the ocean


Don’t let a loved one become a statistic. The Drowning Prevention Coalition Palm Beach County is encouraging parents, caregivers and pool owners and to make drowning prevention a top priority.

The county averages 48 drowning deaths per year. Seniors and children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates in the county based on population. That’s a Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office statistic.

Use the following water safety recommendations:

  • Maintain vigilant adult supervision when children are in or near water.
  • Do not use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision. Water wings or floaties, inflatable water rings and other pool toys are NOT safety devices. Only U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets are designed and tested for safety.
  • Always swim at a lifeguarded beach and pay attention to the posted beach flags.
  • Wear properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets when boating, paddle boarding, kayaking and jet skiing. That’s especially true if you’re not a strong swimmer.
  • At a party, designate a sober adult water watcher for 15-minute intervals. The water watcher’s sole responsibility is to walk around the pool and watch the area without distraction. After 15 minutes, give the responsibility to another adult for the next watch.
  • Sign up for swimming lessons at the Peter Blum Family YMCA in Boca Raton
  • Take CPR lessons.

Having supervision and never swimming alone are primary factors in preventing water-related injuries, the coalition reminds residents, especially parents. For more information on water safety lessons and water safety/drowning prevention education, go to:

The coalition is funded by the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners and the Children’s Services Council. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue manages the coalition.



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