As children become more mobile they begin to explore their surroundings, their sense of curiosity and adventure not matched by an understanding of the possible risks. They are unable to identify or respond to unsafe situations in, on or around water. Young children do not always understand, remember or apply rules. At this stage they are easily distracted by opportunities for play. The responsibility for their safety in, on or around water rests with the adult and occurs across the different environments in which the child is exposed to bodies of water. The adult responsible for the child or children in the home, community setting or in an early childhood centre, needs to ensure that they are actively supervising in situations where the children have access to any bodies of water. WaterSafe Auckland endorses aquatic education for preschoolers (3-5 year olds) through child-centred messages and the promotion of active supervision and caregiver’s responsibility around the water.


Fishing with Papa is a water safety education teaching resource for early childhood featuring important water safety advice for both children and their caregivers, including: Active adult supervision (See Me Reach Me Hear Me); and wearing a correctly fitting lifejacket when fishing off the rocks or wharf, and when in small boats. You can download your copy of Fishing with Papa from the Teacher Toolbox.