Water park safety is a partnership between parents and parks. Parents should always directly supervise their children, especially if children are young or weak swimmers. Below are a few tips to keep in mind when visiting a water park.
- Children under 48", non-swimmers, and weak swimmers should wear a Coast Guard approved life vest while enjoying water park attractions. Bring your own if you are unsure of availability and fit.
- Dress appropriately, including a hat and loose shirt for when you’ve had enough sun. Monitor how much sun children, especially toddlers, are exposed to. Note: water shoes are often not permitted to be worn on water slides and attractions.
- Apply waterproof sunscreen before leaving home (reapply throughout the day) and drink plenty of fluids (avoid beverages with sweeteners or with caffeine).
- Children in diapers should be dressed in waterproof swim diapers to minimize leakage. Change diapers only in designated changing areas.
- Read the signs at every waterpark attraction and listen to all audio instructions provided by recordings or staff. Obey all rules and experience-level guidelines.
- Follow the lifeguards’ instructions and signal them if you see someone in trouble.
- Like visits to amusement parks and attractions designating a meeting place is always smart in the instance some one is separated from your party. The buddy system is an excellent way to ensure no children are left alone.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the U.S. recommends all swimmers be vigilant in following three basic guidelines to prevent disease transmission:
- Do not swim if you have diarrhea. This is especially important for children in diapers.
- Do not swallow the pool water. Try to avoid getting water in your mouth if possible.
- Practice good hygiene and shower before swimming. Also, wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet or changing diapers.
In addition to these steps, the CDC has issued these additional recommendations for parents with young children:
- Take your children to the bathroom often throughout the day.
- Change diapers in a bathroom and away from the pool. Germs can be spread from objects around the pool.
For more information, visit Water Park Safety Overview.