Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 1: Staffing

1.4 Professional Development/Training

1.4.3 First Aid and CPR Training Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training for Swimming and Water Play

Content in the STANDARD was modified on 5/17/2019.

Early care and education programs with a swimming pool on-site or that participate in swimming or water play activities should have, at minimum, one staff member with current documentation of successful completion of training in pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Pediatric CPR–certified staff should be counted in the child to staff ratio for all swimming and water play activities.

This documentation should require the successful completion of training in the following areas:

  1. Basic water safety
  2. Proper use of swimming pool rescue equipment
  3. Emergency procedures
  4. Pediatric CPR according to the criteria of the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association


For small family child care homes, the person trained in water safety and CPR should be the caregiver/teacher. Written verification of successful completion of CPR and lifesaving training, water safety instructions, and emergency procedures should be kept on file and reviewed and updated annually.


Drowning can occur very quickly, quietly, and anywhere water is available, such as play areas, bathtubs, swimming pools, and buckets.1 Children can drown in as little as 2 inches of water, making supervision critical. Active, persistent supervision by a nearby adult is believed to be the most effective drowning prevention strategy for children.2 The brain can only survive for several minutes without oxygen. Trained staff members who are able to provide CPR in a timely manner can significantly prevent or offset possible brain damage from drowning.3 The interruption of breathing, as well as possible cardiac arrest, makes prolonged immersion time and drowning an urgent, life-threatening emergency.3

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Ratios and Supervision for Swimming, Wading, and Water Play Supervision Near Bodies of Water Behavior Around a Pool Pool Safety Rules Pool Toys Training Record
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unintentional drowning: get the facts. Updated April 28, 2016. Accessed December 20, 2018

  2. Franklin RC, Pearn JH, Peden AE. Drowning fatalities in childhood: the role of pre-existing medical conditions. Arch Dis Child. 2017;102(10):888–893

  3. American Academy of Pediatrics, National Association of School Nurses. PedFACTs: Pediatric First Aid for Caregivers and Teachers. 2nd ed. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2012


Content in the STANDARD was modified on 5/17/2019.