Water safety for babies and children

Babies and children can drown in very small amounts 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.

These include a:

  • puddle
  • bucket or container
  • sink
  • water feature

It is very likely that you won't 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.


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. The nappy can quickly fill with water. This can take a child under water.

Page last reviewed: 28 March 2019
Next review due: 28 March 2022