World Health Day: Keeping Kids Safe Around Water

World Health Day: Keeping Kids Safe Around Water

As we celebrate World Health Day on April 7th, it's a great opportunity to focus on keeping our children safe, particularly when they're around water. This year's theme, "Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone," underscores the importance of health equity and access to essential services for all, including child safety. 

History of World Health Day

World Health Day, established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1950, serves as a global awareness day to highlight key health issues and promote healthier living. Each year, a specific theme is chosen to address pressing health challenges and mobilize action to improve health outcomes worldwide.

For 2024, the theme aims to champion the right of everyone to have access to quality health services, education, and information. This includes safe drinking water, clean air, nutrition, quality housing, decent working and environmental conditions, and freedom from discrimination.


Overall, the goal of this year's World Health Day campaign focuses on the importance of health equity around the globe. For our purposes, we’ll be highlighting child safety around water. The goal of water safety experts everywhere is to help all children, regardless of their background or circumstances, stay out of harm’s way. These kids should have the knowledge, skills, and resources to stay safe while swimming, boating, or playing near the water.

Dangers Kids Face Around Water

Water-related activities can be enjoyable for children, but they also pose significant risks if proper precautions are not taken. Drowning is a leading cause of death among children globally. Keeping this in mind, it is crucial for parents and caregivers to be aware of potential hazards. Here are some key risks:


Children can drown in as little as a few inches of water, whether it's a pool, bathtub, or natural water body. It's essential to supervise children closely whenever they're near water, even if they know how to swim.

Boating Accidents

Boating can be a fun family activity, but it also carries risks. This is especially true for young children who may not understand boating safety rules. Accidents such as falling overboard or collisions with other boats can result in serious injuries or worse.

Swimming Hazards


Even in controlled environments like swimming pools, dangers such as slippery surfaces or a lack of supervision can lead to accidents and injuries.

Tips for Keeping Kids Safe Around Water

Here are some practical tips to help families keep their kids safe around water:

  1. Active Supervision: Always supervise children closely when they're in or near water, regardless of their swimming abilities. Designate a responsible adult to watch them without distractions.
  2. Swimming Lessons: Enroll children in age-appropriate swim lessons to teach them essential water safety skills and swimming techniques. Teach kids about water safety rules, including the importance of never swimming alone, staying away from drains and suction outlets, and understanding their own swimming abilities.
  3. Life Jackets: Children should always wear properly fitted life jackets when boating or participating in water activities, even if they know how to swim.
  4. Install a Pool Fence: Install barriers such as fences and gates around swimming pools to prevent unsupervised access. Keep pool areas clear of toys and other objects that could pose tripping hazards.

Celebrating World Health Day Together Starts with Education

On World Health Day, families can come together to promote health and safety by participating in safety-focused activities. Here are some ideas to get started:

  1. Family Swim Day: Visit a local swimming pool or beach as a family and practice water safety together. Take turns supervising each other and reinforcing safety rules.
  2. Water Safety Workshop: Organize a water safety workshop for families in your community, where experts can provide tips and demonstrations on how to stay safe around the water.
  3. Create a Family Safety Plan: Sit down as a family and create a water safety plan that includes designated water watchers, emergency procedures, and basic communication strategies.
  4. Spread Awareness: Use social media platforms to share water safety tips and resources with friends and followers. Using your platforms, you can help raise awareness about child safety around the water.

Remember, the safety of our children is paramount. By taking proactive measures, we can make sure that they can enjoy water activities safely. Let's make every day a safe day for our kids, not just on World Health Day.