Adult Water Safety

Every year more than twice the number of teens and adults lose their lives in water related incidents than children. Learn more about how to prevent adult drownings.

Many factors contribute to drowning among this population:

  • Teens and adults have a tendency to over-estimate their swimming abilities.
  • Water conditions are underestimated (temperature, depth, unseen objects).
  • Alcohol, drugs or medication are sometimes found to be a contributing factor.
  • Life jackets are not being used.

But the most common element in adult water-related incidents is swimming alone.

You are never old enough to swim by yourself. Kids are taught that they must have a supervisor and to “swim with a buddy” as they get older. The same is true for grown-ups.

Adults they aren’t drownproof either and to follow two simple rules: Never swim alone and never swim impaired.

  • Always tell a family member or friend that you are going into the pool or hot tub.
  • Do not take any medications – either prescription or over-the-counter medicines – that could make you feel drowsy before entering a body of water. This includes pools, hot tubs or bath tubs. If you’re not sure, check with your doctor.
  • Never mix alcohol and any kind of water-related activity. The water temperatures in hot tubs can speed up the effects of alcohol.


The DPCA has increased its messaging to hit the adult population with these reminders. The Coalition is reviewing avenues available to reach this audience. One opportunity identified is to reach out to pharmacies to remind individuals who are picking up prescriptions that if they are not supposed to operate heavy machinery when using the medication (which means do not drive a vehicle), they should not swim or spa alone.