Water safety cartoons illustrate potentially life-saving concepts in an interesting and entertaining way, and kids and adults can benefit from their warnings. The following websites offer a variety of cartoons that will help everyone learn the basic rules of water safety before they head for the pool or beach.
An Animated Approach to Water Safety
There are many cartoons available online to help teach your children about water safety, including:
- Bobber the Water Safety Dog is a creation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In a series of three water safety cartoons, Bobber teaches important rules for staying safe around water. The site also provides games and coloring pages to reinforce the safety message.
- The California Department of Water Resources uses two cartoon mascots, Albert the bass and Einstein the heron, to appeal to young audiences. They can be found on stickers, posters, bookmarks, brochures, theater ads, public service announcements and activity books, cautioning California's young residents to swim with a buddy, wear a life jacket and other important safety tasks. Non-California residents can request one free copy of printed material.
- Irish Water Safety has created a series of water safety cartoons with universally-applicable rules. Each situation is illustrated in a humorous manner. For instance, a cartoon urging kids to stay away from water barrels shows a shark's fin poking out of the top of a barrel. The available cartoon sets include:
- Home Safety is aimed primarily at kids and parents, with warnings such as, "You cannot tell how deep a hole is if it is water filled," and "Make sure you are always supervised at bath time."
- Boating Safety is meant for adult boaters, cautioning them, "Wear a life jacket at all times," and "Check locally concerning dangerous currents, strong tides, etc."
- Farm Safety is the shortest of the cartoon sets, with warnings against playing at farm ponds without adult supervision and standing on slurry pits.
- Beach Safety offers warnings for people of all ages such as, "Don't swim alone," and "Do what the lifeguard tells you."
- Pool Safety is another family-focused set of cartoons, combining admonitions to supervise kids in wading pools and rules against horseplay.
- Inland Waterways Safety provides advice for kids visiting lakes, rivers and ponds such as, "Do not retrieve model boats by wading in."
- The ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation, devoted to preventing head and spinal chord injuries, created an educational program for elementary classrooms. Water safety is one of five focus areas included in the curriculum's animated video, comic strips, posters, and activities.
- The Doernbecher Children's Safety Center's Water Safety Game uses a cartoon style to ask children to find unsafe situations at a swimming pool, a river and the ocean. The lifeguard narrator relies a little too much on "surfer" speak like "tubular" and "dude," but the game is a fun overview of water safety. Kids can print a "Safety Star" certificate for successfully making it through the game, or become a "Super Safety Star" by earning a high score on the accompanying quiz.
Water Safety Cartoons Can Entertain and Educate
Don't underestimate the power of the cartoon when it come to learning about water safety. Cartoons deliver the information in a way that's accessible to kids and parents alike and, in the long run, much more memorable. That's bound to benefit everyone.