How to Create a Safe Water Play Area for Kids

Kids love water play on hot, summer days. It's a great 'cool down' activity during warm weather, and the sun aids clean up by drying spills and puddles.  

Water play activities easily capture children's imaginations and keep them busy for long periods of time; however, it is not without risks and therefore requires close supervision.

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Follow these water play guidelines to help your child stay safe when playing with water:

  • Wading pools are not appropriate for center water play. Sprinklers or water-filled sensory tables are better choices.
  • Water tables and tubs should be emptied, cleaned and sanitized at the end of each day. Standing water should never be left in water tables over night.
  • The ground around a water play area can become very slippery. Children should wear shoes (water shoes are best) during sprinkler or other water play.
  • Children should wash hands before and after play at water tables.
  • Sanitize any toys that have found their way into children's mouths before returning them to the water. Similarly, remind children that the water in a water table or tub is for play and not for drinking. Have drinking water and cups nearby for thirsty children.
  • Close supervision of water activities is required. Children can drown in as little as one inch of water so parents should be alert.

Although children love water play, they can become bored if the play is repetitious. Change water play toys regularly and look for enhancements to enrich the experience.

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