Skip to main content

Warning notification:Warning

Unfortunately, you are using an outdated browser. Please, upgrade your browser to improve your experience with HSE. The list of supported browsers:

  1. Chrome
  2. Edge
  3. FireFox
  4. Opera
  5. Safari

Water safety for babies and children

Babies and children can drown in 6cm of water.

Drowning can happen in the home or garden as well as in pools, garden ponds and waterways.

Anything that collects water can be a danger.

This can include a:

  • puddle
  • bucket or container
  • sink
  • water feature

It is very likely that you will not hear someone who gets into difficulty in the water. Drowning can happen quickly and in silence.

Children who survive a near-drowning often have long-term health effects. For example, brain injuries.

Emergency action required: Important

In an emergency dial 999 or 112 for an ambulance, the Garda Síochána, the fire service or the Irish Coast Guard.

An added risk of drowning for a child is if they fall into water while wearing a nappy. Their nappy can quickly fill with water. This can take a child under water.

When to call 112 or 999

The emergency department (ED)

Page last reviewed: 19 September 2022
Next review due: 19 September 2025