Tips: Swimming Pool Safety

Drowning is a leading cause of home injury deaths -- especially for children. Many children drown in pools and spas. It can happen very fast and you won’t hear it. To prevent a tragedy, the Home Safety Council offers the following tips.

  • If you have a pool or spa, install a fence that goes all the way around it. The fence should close and latch by itself. It should be least five feet high.
  • Always keep gates closed and latched. Never prop a gate open.
  • When children are in or near the water, a grownup should watch them very carefully. Do not take your eyes off them.
  • If you have a pool party, have grownups take turns watching the children at all times.
  • Enroll non-swimmers in swimming lessons taught by a qualified instructor.
  • Never swim alone. Even adults should swim with a buddy.
  • Learn how you would save someone in trouble. Learn First Aid and CPR. Make sure that anyone who cares for your children learns CPR.
  • Keep poolside rescue equipment and a cordless, water resistant telephone close to the pool area.
  • Post emergency numbers and CPR instructions near the pool area.
  • The pump in a pool or spa creates powerful suction at the drain which can trap a swimmer under water. Teach children to stay away from drains, grates and filters.
  • Tie up long hair before swimming. Pool drains should have a cover. For added protection, consider purchasing a safety guard to install over the drain.
  • Never leave toys in or around the pool when you are not there.
  • Teach children the “rules of the pool.” Remind them often.
  • Keep spas and hot tubs covered and locked when not in use.
  • Completely remove pool and spa covers before anyone gets in.
  • Stay out of the pool during severe weather and thunderstorms, especially if lightning is forecast or present.
  • If a child is missing, check the pool area first.
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