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Water Park Safety

Reviewed by: Amy W. Anzilotti, MD
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Water parks are a lot of fun and a great way for kids to spend time outside. But injuries like cuts, scrapes, and concussions can happen. And as with any body of water, precautions to prevent drowning are a must.

These tips can help keep your kids safe at water parks:

  • Supervise your kids. When possible, keep them in your view. They may go out of sight for a moment on a ride, but you should be able to see them most of the time. Watch kids in a wave pool at all times.
  • Make sure the park uses qualified lifeguards. But lifeguards are just one layer of protection to prevent drownings. You still need to watch your children.
  • Read the posted signs before letting kids go on a ride. Many have age, height, weight, or health requirements.
  • Know which rides are safe for your child's age and development. For instance, keep little kids away from older kids' splashing and playing.
  • Teach kids to follow the rules and directions. These include walking instead of running and going down the water slide in the right position — feet-first and face-up. 
  • Use the buddy system. When possible, each child should have a buddy to stay with for the day. And set up a meeting place when you first get there. That way, if someone gets separated from the group, they know where to find you.
  • New or young swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Some water parks require life jackets for kids under 48 inches tall.
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Reviewed by: Amy W. Anzilotti, MD
Date reviewed: July 2022