As the seasons change and many parts of the country experience cooler weather, it is important to remember that drownings can still happen at any time, and families need to practice water safety year-round.
Books are a fun and engaging way to review key water safety information with kids, even on cold or rainy days. They can help to spark family conversations about pool rules that will stick with kids when pools open and when warmer weather returns. Several Pool Safely partners have published children’s books specifically with this in mind, and Pool Safely has many fun educational resources that families can use to continue the water safety discussion throughout the year. Next time you visit your local bookstore or library, look for these educational children’s books from Pool Safely partners to help keep water safety top of mind:
Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation created Josh the Baby Otter to help children understand and remember water-safe behaviors. The book tells the story of a young otter that learns how to float and always swim with a buddy or an adult nearby. To date, the Foundation has distributed thousands of these books across the country and in multiple languages to daycares, preschools and kindergarten classrooms.
Splash Medics, a group of local paramedics and EMTs in Riverside County, CA, published Toby the Dolphin and Water Safety to teach children how to be safer in and around water. The fun, engaging book tells the story of a dolphin who educates a child about safer water behaviors.
Stew Leonard III Children’s Charities’ Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim is designed to be a child’s first guide to water safety. The story follows a duck named Stewie, whose older sister stops him from going into the water with the big ducks until he learns important water safety rules from his parents. A companion book, Swimtime with Stewie the Duck, contains similar information geared toward young children age 3 and under.
The ZAC Foundation’s book, The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim, shares water safety lessons to teach young swimmers how to be safer in and around the water. This book tells the story of a young polar bear named Zeke. Zeke learns the ABC and Ds of water safety as he overcomes his fear of the water. This book is available in English and Spanish.
Children’s author Wanda Wyont’s book, Barkley’s Great Escape, follows a yellow Labrador retriever named Barkley, who runs into trouble when he enters a neighbor’s pool alone. The story is designed to spark discussion with children about water safety and the importance of following rules.