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Kohl's Water Safety Program

The Kohl's Water Safety Program – a partnership between Valley Children's Hospital and Kohl's Cares – provides broad-based awareness messaging, educational opportunities and community outreach events to children and families on water safety and drowning prevention. The multifaceted program aims to decrease water-related injuries and drowning and improve the health, safety and wellbeing of children in communities served by Valley Children's Hospital and Kohl's Department Stores. 

Injury prevention efforts like the education offered by the Kohl’s Water Safety Program have effectively reduced pediatric trauma cases in the United States. But far too often, adults become distracted by a cell phone, best-selling novel or engaging conversation while children under their supervision live or play near water.

Did you know?

  • A toddler can drown at a picnic without a swimming pool or fountain in sight, simply by reaching into the plastic tub of beverages with an inch of melted ice at the bottom, and falling head first into the tub.
  • Drowning usually happens without a sound. Minutes matter when a child is submerged. Within two minutes, a child will lose consciousness. Irreversible brain injury occurs after four to six minutes. And most children who die are found after only ten minutes.
  • Drowning is the number one cause of unintentional injury and death in California for children under age 5. In the past decade, more of our youngest children died from water-related injuries than from motor vehicle accidents.
  • For children who survive a significant, near-drowning event, the consequences can be devastating. Survivors often suffer severe, permanent neurological disability.
  • The long-lasting psychological and emotional trauma can be prevented with adult supervision. Watching your kids near water prevents injury. Your watchful eye keeps them safe.



In fact, adult supervision comes first in the ABCs of Water Safety

A – Adult supervision
B – Barriers such as pool fencing and locked doors
C – Classes such as swimming lessons and courses in CPR

Mary Jo Quintero, prehospital liaison nurse and water safety coordinator at Valley Children's Hospital, provides drowning prevention education to students and families throughout our region. To learn more about activities and resources available through the Kohl's Water Safety Program, contact Mary Jo Quintero at (559) 353-8661 or email her at

Water Safety Tips 

  • Never leave a child unattended in a bathtub, even to answer the door or phone.
  • Prevent children from having direct access to a swimming pool.
  • Choose a “designated water watcher.” This supervising adult should maintain constant visual contact with children in or near the water and avoid all distracting activities while watching the children.
  • Store buckets and kiddie pools upside down.
  • Keep toilet lids shut and use toilet locks in homes with an infant or toddler.
  • Avoid using air-filled toys in place of life jackets. Floating toys give a false sense of security and increase the risk of drowning.
  • Learn CPR. Adults and teenagers over age 13 can save a child’s life by immediately and effectively administering CPR.
  • Teach children to always swim with a buddy.
  • Never allow children to chew gum or eat while swimming, diving or playing in the water.

In Case of Emergency

If a child is missing, look in the water FIRST. Call 9–1–1. Administer CPR.

Swimming Lessons

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Red Cross issued the following statement regarding swimming lessons for children: Until more clear-cut scientific evidence exists on the effects of infant and toddler aquatic programs, it is recommended that children are generally not developmentally ready for swimming lessons until their fourth birthday.

Visit the Valley Children’s Hospital Online Health Encyclopedia for additional Water Safety Tips.