You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Prepare for Summer Vacation: International Water Safety Day

Water Safety
Make water safety a priority.

International Water Safety Day is May 15, and the American Red Cross will participate in a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C., to bring attention to the importance of water safety.

Before Americans begin their summertime vacations, a coalition of organizations, including the Consumer Safety Commission, the YMCA and media outlet CNN, are participating in a hearing on Capitol Hill to prevent more drowning deaths.

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 388,000 drowning deaths occur annually around the world, making drowning a global public health problem. In the U.S., drowning is the second leading cause of fatal unintentional injury death for children ages one to 14.


The American Red Cross encourages all household members to enroll in age-appropriate water orientation and Learn-to-Swim programs. To find classes for your family, contact your local aquatic facility and ask for Red Cross swimming programs. Developing skills and water safety behaviors help people be more comfortable and safe when they are in, on and around the water.

Water Safety Tips

- Make water safety a priority.

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy, and do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  • Never leave young children unattended near the water.
  • - Prevent Unsupervised Access to the Water.

  • If you own a pool or hot tub, install and use barriers.
  • For above ground or inflatable pools, remove access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever the pool is not in use.
  • - Maintain constant supervision.

  • Actively supervise children around the water – even if lifeguards are present.
  • Always stay within arm’s reach of young children.
  • - Know what to do in an emergency.

  • If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number.
  • - Take the Home Pool Essentials course.

  • The Red Cross and National Swimming Pool Foundation® developed the online safety course for pool and hot tub owners.
  • Home Pool Essentials helps people understand the risks of pool ownership and how to maintain a safer and cleaner pool and hot tub.
  • About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.