What is a “Water Watcher” and how do you choose one?

Every year, nearly 4,000 people fatally drown. It happens at the pool, while boating on the lake, or even in the bathtub. Drowning happens anywhere there is water, and it can happen even if the person (usually a child) isn’t expected to be near the water. For example, a child might unlock the patio door and get to the pool without an adult realizing he/she left the house. Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in children, and it can happen fast. 

So. Let’s talk about water safety, and one of the terms you’ve probably heard or seen us mention: Water Watcher. We’re here to give you all the information you need to make sure you know what a Water Watcher is, how to choose one, and how to best keep your loved ones safe in and near the water!


What is a Water Watcher?

According to SafeKids.org, a Water Watcher is a responsible adult who agrees to watch the kids in the water without distractions and wear a Water Watcher card. 

How long does the Water Watcher stay “on duty”?

After a certain amount of time (such as 15-minutes), the Water Watcher card is passed to another adult, who is responsible for the active supervision. (SafeKids.org)

How old should your Water Watcher be?

The Red Cross describes an appropriate Water Watcher as at least 16 years of age (adults preferred).

What tools should a Water Watcher have?

While Water Watchers don’t necessarily need special equipment or tools, it’s important that someone nearby has a flotation device that can be used if necessary in a rescue. In addition, the Water Watcher should have access to a phone in case of an emergency. 

What special skills should a Water Watcher know?

According to the Red Cross, your Water Watcher should know the signs of someone in distress, and have the skills and ability to perform a rescue if needed. Ideally, your Water Watcher should know CPR or be able to alert someone nearby that does. 

How can you get your own Water Watcher card?

You can get your own printable card HERE

As you finish out the summer, make sure you have someone keeping eyes on your swimmer/s at all times. Having someone designated to be in charge can help prevent a tragedy.

Stay safe!