Infant Water Safety: A Quick Guide

Introducing your child to water while they're still a baby is an excellent way to avoid the fear of it once they get older. In fact, swimming aids in muscle development and control that's important for a growing infant. Babies also have an instinct to float and swim when placed in water which they may lose when they turn six months old. It's a fantastic sight, especially when seeing it as their parent. 

However, you do need to pay close attention to your baby whenever they're in the water. Despite their innate ability to swim, they could drown at any time, with or without floaters. Therefore, you must actively supervise your infant in the water to keep them safe. Here's a general guide to help you out:

  • Get A Professional Swimming Coach

Even if you can swim, professional swim coaches will always have more knowledge on water safety. Thus, getting lessons and advice from them is the wiser choice concerning infant pool play.  

Swimming classes, like those by State Swim, are held in a controlled environment and taught by experienced teachers. Depending on their age, you'll also be required to be in the water with your child, often when your baby is under two years old. 

  • Never Leave Them Alone In The Water

A lot of things can happen to a young child within a span of a few seconds of being alone. Even in a bathroom, an infant can slip or find a way to turn on the faucet on their own. Therefore, it's important to stay by your baby's side whenever they're near a large amount of water, a bathtub, or any source of water. 

In addition, you can put an anti-skid mat on the bottom of the bathtub to keep them from slipping. A washcloth or a rubber covering over the faucet can also prevent serious injuries from accidental bumps.  

Temperature is also a significant factor in infant water safety. Your baby's pediatrician may recommend that their bath water is at a particular temperature to avoid chills or burns. Water at around 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius is ideal for most infants to bathe in. However, it’s best to personally test the temperature with your elbow or wrist before placing your baby in the bathtub.

  • Avoid Floaties For Now

Many experts don't recommend babies under a year old to wear any swim aids or floating devices in a pool. While they look safe, they can sometimes cause an infant to flip over. It's dangerous when a young child's face is underwater, and they can't surface by themselves. They could drown because their floating aids prohibited their movement. 

Inflatable arm bands also hinder a child from learning proper swimming techniques. That's why most swim coaches discourage their students from wearing them. In addition, neck floaties or rings could also be a hazard to babies. These devices could also cause drowning or neck injuries. Such incidents may be rare, but they can still occur, primarily when used without adult supervision. 

  • Always Check The Surroundings

Ensuring overall water safety includes observing the environment, especially if you're taking your baby swimming outdoors. Unlike pools, there are natural dangers present in lakes, rivers, and beaches. 

In addition, underwater vegetation could entangle your child's limbs, while some lakes or ponds may have harmful bacteria. Weather is another factor to take note of. Hence, it's best to avoid swimming outside when a storm's brewing or when temperatures make it easier for particular bacteria to spread faster. 

Wherever you plan to go swimming, have your baby as close to the shore as possible. You'll have an easier time watching over them and keeping them from harm's way.

  • Learn CPR

Learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) benefits anyone, parent or not. Drowning can, unfortunately, happen when you least expect it. So, it's essential to know how to save a life, even if there are lifeguards nearby. An immediate response to a drowned child is better than yelling and waiting for help. 

CPR methods differ slightly depending on the victim's age. You can learn child CPR from first-aid classes, your baby's swim teacher, or even through online videos. Then afterward, practice the techniques on a doll or stuffed toy. Doing this will let you get used to the actions and steps involved until it becomes muscle memory. 

If you plan to teach your baby swimming yourself, you must know how to do CPR. It's your duty as a parent to ensure your infant child's safety, whether in the water or out of it.


Babies are cute bundles of joy, but they are absolutely fragile and are very dependent on an adult’s care and supervision. Having them swim and play in the water for the first time can be worrisome, but there are several ways to ensure their safety. This includes entrusting them to a professional swimming coach, checking the environment before dipping into the water, and learning CPR beforehand. As long as you keep your eyes and ears alert, your child can enjoy wading in water without much trouble.