Reinforce Boat Safety for Kids with National Water Safety Month in May

National Water Safety MonthTeach kids about water safety around any body of water – including rivers, lakes, bays, oceans and swimming pools

Kids are naturally drawn to water during the summer. Whether you are out on your boat or you are relaxing by the marina swimming pool, your kids are surrounded by water.

So the month of May is the perfect time of the year to prepare for the summer ahead and reinforce water safety – no matter what body of water your kids are eager to jump into.

May is National Water Safety Month, an annual awareness campaign coordinated by The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals with support from the National Recreation & Parks Association, the American Red Cross and the World Waterpark Association.

These organizations represent businesses and other individuals and agencies involved in bringing safe, enjoyable aquatic activities to the American public, from home pools and spas, to waterparks and resort, to public swimming and water recreation facilities.

It just so happens that National Safe Boating Week falls during the month of May too – typically the week before Memorial Day Weekend in the U.S. (May 16-22 in 2015), further reinforcing water safety practices for everyone.

These two safety campaigns are the perfect way to kick off boating season for the entire family.

water safety tips for kidsWater Safety Rules for Kids

The National Water Safety Month organization came up with some simple rules to follow to ensure kids are safe around the water.

(note: these rules are for parents and kids!)

  • Always supervise children when swimming, bathing or playing in water
  • Wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket if you can’t swim
  • Don’t swallow the water and avoid swimming when you have diarrhea
  • Teach kids to swim – it’s the best way to stay safe in the water

They also offer additional water safety tips and resources on their website, including this handy infographic (pictured to the right) from the American Red Cross.

Again, many of these water safety tips are relevant no matter what body of water – a swimming pool or a river or lake where you boat.

As part of our routine getting kids ready for boating season (and summer in general) we always take them to another round of swim lessons at our local YMCA.

We also take a look at our life jackets to see if we need to purchase new ones. For our older daughter it may be time for her to step up in size, so we check the weight limit with her current weight to be sure. We also do the same for our younger daughter, but since she usually gets her older sister’s hand-me-downs we verify that the life jacket is still in good shape for her to use – no worn-out buckles, straps, etc. This is also a good idea to do every year regardless of hand-me-downs to ensure your life jackets are in ship-shape for the season.

Need new life jackets for your kids? Be sure to check out our life jackets by age!

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Diane Seltzer

Diane Seltzer

Founder at
Diane is the founder of as well as the boating lifestyle site Active in the boating industry, Diane is the founder of Marine Marketing Tools, a collaborative site for sharing marine marketing best practices. Diane is also author of the children's book The Amazing Adventures of Boat Girl.
Diane Seltzer

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