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Pools, Beaches and Water Parks: Step Into Swim Shares Safety Tips Across Water Settings

Alexandria, Va. (June 30, 2023) – Heading to the water this summer? You’re not alone. Nearly 4 in 5 parents (78%) who have a child ages 14 or under say they and their families have access to a pool, and more than a quarter of parents (28%) who have a child ages 14 or under say they and their families have access to open water, according to a recent survey from the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance and Step Into Swim conducted by The Harris Poll.1 With families spending time around the water this season, it’s critical they practice safety no matter the setting. Step Into Swim offers tips to navigate any swim environment safely.

“Open water, pools and other swim areas should be enjoyable for families, but parents need to practice supervision at all times,” said Rowdy Gaines, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Vice President of Partnerships and Development at PHTA who leads the Step Into Swim initiative. “I encourage caregivers to enroll their children in swim lessons and take a primary role in practicing water safety. Drowning prevention efforts like this can help keep children safe.”

Many families beat the heat with water activities during the summer, and Step Into Swim wants to help ensure fun and safety for all by addressing the following key tips for multiple water access points:

  • Beach Vacation
    • Take frequent breaks from the sun and stay hydrated.
    • Swim within the designated beach area when lifeguards are on duty.
    • Check water warnings before swimming, such as strong winds, currents and storms.
    • Do not swim too far from the shoreline.
  • Rental with a Backyard Pool
    • Talk as a family about pool usage while in the rental.
    • Keep toys away from water when not in use. These can be distractions for children, who may overreach and accidentally fall in the water.
    • Ask homeowner about pool safety features ahead of time, including access to a first-aid kit.
    • Understand how to use onsite barriers to maximize the safety of the environment, such as a pool alarm, cover or fence.
  • Community Pool 
    • Follow pool rules on posted signage and respect operating hours.
    • Do not rely on lifeguards alone to supervise a child.
    • Only practice safe behaviors. No running around the pool, don’t dive in shallow water, avoid breath-holding activities.
    • Keep kids away from the deep end if they are not experienced swimmers.
  • Water Park
    • Pay attention to age, height and weight requirements for water rides and activities.
    • Employ the buddy system.
    • Designate a water watcher to keep an eye on children at all times, especially in areas like a wave pool or lazy river.
    • Set a meeting area as soon as you arrive to ensure people in the group know where to go if separated.

Learning to swim from a qualified instructor reduces the risk of drowning by 88% among those ages 1 to 4.2 Lessons paired with the above swim safety tips when around any body of water can help keep families safe and secure this season.

For more swim safety information, visit


About Step Into Swim

Step Into SwimTM is an initiative of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance and its foundation committed to safe swim education and drowning prevention. By investing in the next generation of swimmers through learn-to-swim programming, the Step Into Swim initiative instills confidence, empowers long-term participation in water activities, touts the positive benefits of water play, and advocates for safe practices. Since its inception in 2012, Step Into Swim has played a role in reducing drowning fatalities and has gifted swim lessons to more than 300,000 children with support from community organizations, partners, industry advocates, members and more. For more information, visit    

1 This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of PHTA from April 13-17, 2023, among 636 U.S. parents aged 18+ who have a child ages 14 or under.
2 Brenner, R. A., et al. (2009). Association Between Swimming Lessons and Drowning in Childhood: A Case-Control Study. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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