187: Keeping Kids Safe Around Water this Summer // Nicole Hughes


Nicole Hughes has poured herself into teaching parents about water safety tips. I admire her profoundly. 

Before I get further into the interview, I do want to give a trigger warning. In the interview, we discuss the devastating loss of Nicole’s child. If you have lost a child, or, for any reason, you aren’t in an emotional place right now to hear about a mother’s heartbreak, please take care of yourself and give yourself the space you need.  I’m deeply moved to have interviewed Nicole. She has experienced the unthinkable and is dedicating her life to helping others.  Nicole is a mother of five kids from Tennessee. In the summer of 2018, while on a family vacation, Nicole lost her 3-year-old son, Levi, to drowning. Since then, she has poured herself into learning about water safety and improving education for parents and medical providers to keep more kids safe around water. 


This episode is incredibly important. Please, if you have the space for it, take the time to learn from Nicole and share her water safety tips with others. 



3 Water Safety Tips from Nicole Hughes


1. Understand how drowning actually happens.

It’s important to understand the statistics for which situations are most dangerous for your child, depending on their age and even the region of the country where you are living. Drowning doesn’t happen just because parents are neglectful! Remember, generally, babies drown in filled bathtubs or buckets; toddlers ages 1-4 most often drown in swimming pools, but not typically during swim times; teenagers drown in natural water when they are not wearing a life jacket. Educate yourself on the real statistics so you can be aware of the dangers. 


2. Put layers of protection in place to keep your child safe. 

The first layer of protection is supervision, but this layer can fail. To help with added protection, you can install door locks and pool fences. If you’re on vacation, always keep the doors bolt-locked, and consider buying portable door alarms from Amazon. Always have designated supervision for children when near water, especially when they are not swimming, but are in transition times with the pool nearby. Always remove toys from the pool after everyone gets out. As you do these little things, they layer upon each other to really build safety for your child. 


3. Teach your child to swim and to self-rescue, starting at age one. 

Infant Self Rescue (ISR) lessons are life-saving. These lessons teach your babies and toddlers to roll onto their backs independently, float, and breathe when they are in the water. Do not rely on puddle jumpers. The US Coast Guard does not approve or test items for swimming pools, only for boating. Puddle Jumpers give them a false sense of security in the water and build muscle memory for the vertical drowning position. 


I deeply care for you and your children. I hope these water safety tips from Nicole have been helpful. Please share it with the other moms in your life. These water safety tips truly can save lives! 



Save this summary to Pinterest so you can use it later! 👇

Listen to Top Motherhood Podcast, 3 in 30 Podcast with Rachel Nielson, featuring Nicole Hughes on Water Safety Tips
Infographic featuring water safety tips from Nicole Hughes.



>>>Were these takeaways from Nicole on water safety tips helpful? What would you add? Comment below!    ***  

Related Episodes like this one on Water Safety Tips:


Mentioned in the Episode:


About Our Guest:

Nicole Hughes is a mother of five from Tennessee who has been through the unthinkable heartache of losing a child to drowning in the summer of 2018. Since then, Nicole has honored her son’s life by pouring herself into learning about water safety and improving education for parents and medical providers to keep more kids safe around water.  

Get in Touch with Our Guest:



  • Fabric: Visit meetfabric.com/3IN30 and apply for life insurance today in ten minutes.
  • KiwiCo: Get 30% off your first month plus FREE shipping on ANY crate line with code 3in30.
  • BetterHelp: Use the code 3in30 to get 10% off your first month of online therapy!

2 thoughts on “187: Keeping Kids Safe Around Water this Summer // Nicole Hughes”

  1. I listened to this interview on drowning and I wonder if you have any resources or could direct me to any info on drowning prevention in older kids/teens. You mentioned natural bodies of water and my family are huge lake goers, but it always makes me super nervous for the kids to go away from the shore and actually swim despite the fact that they are good swimmers. I would love more information on keeping them safe while still allowing them to have fun if you can direct me to anything.

    1. Rachel Nielson

      Hi, Melissa! Nicole talks about the importance of life jackets in open bodies of water. I would say that if they are swimming a far distance from shore, a life jacket is a great idea. There are some really sleek, light life jackets now that aren’t coast guard approved but would definitely work for something like this, as a safety measure.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *