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Swimming Pool Safety

In addition to using caution and good sense, parents should supervise all pool activities. Supervision is the key word when it comes to pool safety, but supervision combined with a variety of barriers and safety devices - fences, latched gates, locked doors, pool covers, and more - goes even further in preventing drowning.

Here are some tips for a safe and enjoyable swimming pool season:

  • Never leave a child unattended in the water or pool area for any reason. 

  • Always keep your eyes on the child or children. Designate a child watcher, whether you or someone else, when you attend a party or have friends or family over. 

  • Talk with baby-sitters about pool safety, supervision, and drowning prevention. 

  • Don't be distracted by doorbells, phone calls, chores, or conversations. If you must leave the pool area, take the child with you, making sure the pool gate latches securely when it closes. 

  • Unsupervised activity by non-swimmers can become dangerous. Don't be afraid to ask if your guests can swim. If they can't, make sure a swimmer is present at all times. 

  • Don't swim alone or allow others to swim alone; make sure there's somebody nearby who can answer a distress call. 

  • Don't allow anyone who has been drinking alcohol to use the pool. 

  • Don't rely on swimming lessons or "floaties" to protect your children in the water. 

  • Keep children away from pool filters, as the suction force may injure them or prevent them from surfacing. 

  • Check the pool area regularly for glasses, bottles, toys, or other potential accident hazards. 

  • Post rules such as "No running", "No pushing", "No dunking", and "Never swim alone". Enforce the rules. 

  • Keep CD players, radios, and other electrical devices away from pools or nearby wet surfaces. For safety with the use of electrical appliances, radios, TV's, etc., talk to your pool dealer about a ground fault interrupter. The interrupter will avoid potential danger by shutting off power if a sudden power surge occurs at poolside. 

  • Treat diving boards with respect. Never dive into an above-ground pool and check the water depth before plunging into an in-ground pool. Private pools don't require depth markings. It's a good idea, anyway, to prevent someone from diving into water too shallow for complete safety. Also keep clear of the area near a diving board. 

  • Stay out of the pool during rain storms or during thunder or lightning. The Red Cross and other safety organizations recommend moving to indoor shelters for the duration of a thunderstorm. 

  • Don't swim if you're tired or just finished eating. 

  • Encourage your neighbors to follow pool safety guidelines, including keeping their back gates and doors locked, and their pool gates securely closed and latched. 

  • Your community may have specific regulations concerning protection to be installed around your pool. Some require sturdy six-foot fencing. This prevents children or pets from using the pool when there are no adults present to supervise.

  • Don't assume that drowning or a drowning incident couldn't happen to you or your family. 

  • Don't have a false sense of security just because you think your pool area and home are secure. Always watch your children, whether in the house or outside.