When it comes to swimming safety, almost everybody knows to be cautious in deep water. But what about the hidden dangers of shallow water? Believe it or not, low water levels can quickly become deadly if general water safety guidelines are not respected.

The Hidden Dangers of Shallow Water

Depending upon where you live, the summer can be scorching hot. In a lot of the nation, there has been record heat-waves. At these temperatures, it is often common for the water level of rivers and lakes to be lower than usual. That said, looks can be deceiving. At the end of the day, open water is still open water. It is still easy to be dragged under the waves by a sudden riptide. On otherwise calm waters, it is crucial that you not be lulled into a false sense of security. The CDC has a whole page dedicated to the potential hazards of floods and standing water.

In today’s post, we’ll show you some ways to stay safe from the hidden dangers of shallow water.

Never Swim Alone

Above all, regular safety rules for water still apply even in shallow water. Don’t swim unless there is a dedicated lifeguard on duty. It’s just not worth it. The dangers of shallow water are just as prevalent as they are in deep water. Additionally, always obey posted warnings. These signs can alert you to potential hazards.

Starting Out: Beginners Swimming Tips

Never Boat Alone, Either

Boating on the shallow water can also cause trouble. First of all, never boat alone. If you’re heading out, always have a plan for the day. Additionally, make sure someone knows where you will be. In fact, as long as you’re following current social distancing guidelines, the buddy system is always a good idea. It always pays to have someone there to watch your back or call for help.

As we saw in the recent tragic death of Naya Rivera, accidents can happen when you’re boating alone. For maximum security, always set your intentions for the day and leave your plan at the dock or with a trusted friend or family member.


If you’re heading out, take it slow and keep a close eye out for the hidden dangers of shallow water. A surprise rock or sandbar can suddenly cause a disaster. Be sure to take frequent depth readings to make sure you’re absolutely familiar with potentially shallow spots.

Wear a Life Jacket

On the Pool Fence Safety Blog, we often discuss the importance of United States Coast Guard Approved life jackets and floatation devices. Believe it or not, it is important for everyone to wear one whenever they are out on the water. You may not realize the dangers of shallow water until they arrive.

After the Storm: Flooding Danger

For example, a flood can happen at any moment. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and swept away in the current. For little ones, we recently wrote a post about life jackets for toddlers. Overall, if you’re going to be near the water, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Be Honest About Your Abilities

Swimming lessons are another great way to keep you and your loved ones safer from harm. That goes for both the open water and the swimming pool.

Above all, don’t overestimate your abilities. It can also be easy to get into trouble if you are overconfident. Instead, know your limits. That goes for boating, swimming or even water-skiing.

Know your limits in order to avoid the hidden dangers of shallow water. Being cautious can save your life and the lives of your loved ones.