Water Watcher Program

water watcher graphic with water safety ringPoway's Water Watcher program encourages residents to always have a responsible adult assigned to watch kids around the water – and do so without distractions. (View video below.) Free “Water Watcher” lanyards are available at the Poway Community Swim Center, City Hall, and Poway Fire Stations.

The lanyards were inspired by a drowning in Poway in which two-year-old Mia fell into her grandparents’ pool. Thanks to the quick actions of her father and incredible teamwork of first responders and medical team at Rady Children's Hospital, her story has a happy ending – but that’s not always the case. 

“As one of our fire captains stated, these are one of the most difficult calls we respond to as a first responder,” said Poway Fire Battalion Chief Rodney Ortiz. “We want to take this opportunity to remind our community that most fatal drownings happen when there is poor or absent supervision.”

That’s where the Water Watcher lanyard comes in. The adult wearing the lanyard knows that for the period of time they have it, their top priority is to focus solely on the safety of others. It’s their reminder to remain alert, avoid distractions and to not leave the area without handing off Water Watcher duty to another responsible adult.

“Designating a Water Watcher is not the only thing you can do to ensure that your home and family are safe,” said Poway Community Services Director Audrey Denham. 

It’s important to make sure everyone in your family learns to swim, and lessons are offered at the Poway Community Swim Center for ages six months through adults . Also, Denham reminded residents to fence in pools and spas, use US Coast Guard approved life jackets for inexperienced swimmers, and learn CPR.