Water Safety for Kids


Legislative Task Force on Water Safety: CWCS announced in May of 2017 that we will be organizing a new legislative task force to address issues around water safety. Stay tuned for more details.

Did you know?

  • Almost 800 children drown in the U.S. every year;
  • 54% of these deaths are are among children ages 0-4;
  • Minority children are 3 times more likely to die from drowning; and
  • According to the National Autism Association, accidental drowning led to 90% of the deaths of children with autism ages 14 and younger.

The statistics about children’s drowning deaths have not changed over time, implying that current strategies for prevention are not enough. Increasing children’s access to swim lessons, encouraging schools to teach water safety skills to students and giving parents easy-to-use and engaging tools to talk to their children about how to be safe around water are just a few actions that can have a big effect in reducing drowning rates.

Children’s safety is a top priority for CWCS and as such we have curated a list of helpful resources so that lawmakers, educators and parents can find the information they need in one convenient spot.

Water Safety Resources

Austism Speaks

Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. They provide specific information about water safety for the autism community. Click here for more information.

The Stew Leonard III Children’s Charity

After their toddler lost his life to drowning, Kim and Stew Leonard created a charity organization in honor of their son. The Leonards have published two books on water safety, Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim, a child’s first guide to water safety, and Swimming Lessons with Stewie the Duck, which is about the skills and fears children face when they first start taking swimming lessons. Both books are available in English and Spanish. Additionally, they created the Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim mobile app for iTunes and Android which is free to download. Their website provides information about water safety and ways to purchase their books. Click here for more information.

The Zac Foundation

Motivated by a mission of love, the Cohn family created The ZAC Foundation as a living legacy to their son Zachary who passed away by drowning. In his name, The ZAC Foundation is working to ensure that never again will a child suffer the same tragic fate. By finding new ways to communicate the messages of water safety, pioneering water safety standards, and creating a grassroots network throughout the country and world, The ZAC Foundation seeks to create a generational change in how water safety is viewed by parents and their children. Click here for more information.

The American Red Cross

The Red Cross has a wealth of information about proper water safety. Their website includes information about home pool safety, water safety in the home, how to respond to a water emergency, how to choose a safe place to swim, and what to look for when watching children in the water. On their site you can also download a free swim app that provides water safety information on-the-go. Click here for more information.


Teaching children how to be safe around water is not a luxury; it is a necessity. The YMCA’s Safety Around Water program can help you make sure they learn essential water safety skills, which can open up a world of possibilities for them to satisfy their curiosity safely. To learn about this program and find out if swimming lessons are available near you click here for more information.

Saving Children’s Lives Through Water Safety Awareness Instruction

This policy brief from the Connecticut Educational Policy Fellowship Program Institute for Educational Leadership, written by Jennifer Masone, is full of information about disparities in drowning rates and what can be done to save lives. Read the policy brief here.

Dry and Secondary Drownings

Have you ever heard of dry and secondary drownings? While uncommon, a child can experience these types of drownings hours after being out of the pool/water. For more information check out this article titled What Every Parent Needs to Know About Dry and Secondary Drownings.

Water Safety Informational Forum 


State Representatives Noreen Kokoruda and Catherine Abercrombie, along with the Commission on Women, Children, and Seniors’ Water Safety Task Force, held a legislative forum on Tuesday, February 27, 2018, at the Legislative Office Building. The forum included an impact panel of parents, activists, and experts from throughout the state.  Listen to the recording of the forum to learn more about the need for increased water safety and awareness in our state.

Water Safety Informational Forum Agenda