Millions of us enjoy warm weather every year by swimming in our backyard pools and relaxing in hot tubs. Tragically though, over 200 young children drown in backyard swimming pools each year.  Make pool safety their priority by following these guidelines:

  • Secure your pool with appropriate barriers. Completely surround your pool with a 4-feet high fence or barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Place a safety cover on the pool or hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps used for access. Consider installing a pool alarm that goes off if anyone enters the pool.
  • Keep children under active supervision at all times. Stay in arm’s reach of young kids. Designate a responsible person to watch the water when people are in the pool—never allow anyone to swim alone. Have young or inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Ensure everyone in the home knows how to swim well by enrolling them in age-appropriate water orientation and learn-to-swim courses.
  • Keep your pool or hot tub water clean and clear. Maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration. Regularly test and adjust the chemical levels to minimize the risk of earaches, rashes or more serious diseases.
  • Establish and enforce rules and safe behaviors, such as “no diving,” “stay away from drain covers,” “swim with a buddy” and “walk please.”
  • Ensure everyone in the home knows how to respond to aquatic emergencies by having appropriate safety equipment and taking water safety, first aid and CPR courses.

Excerpted from RedCross.org

Supervision During Water Activities

Unfortunately, many drowning incidents have occurred when people are actively engaged in swimming or other water play, and adults know children are in the water and those adults are nearby.

ALWAYS know where children are. Never leave a child unattended in or near water in a pool, tub, lake, river, canal or ocean, even when lifeguards are present. Containers that may collect water (buckets, ice chests, non-used “kiddie” pools, aquariums, etc…) pose a serious drowning risk to young children.

ALWAYS be aware of potential dangers in all environments, such as when visiting other homes, while on vacation, or at public/community pools. Survey the area for secure fencing, locked gates, covered pools and spas, and protected backyard ponds. Never leave your child in an environment with unprotected water hazards.

Instruct babysitters and caregivers about potential pool hazards and emphasize the need for constant supervision of children and barriers.

If a child is missing or unaccounted for, always check the pool or spa first.

Create A Pool Safety Tool Kit for your Home Pool or Spa

Drownings are a preventable cause of death and injury for children. By putting proven safety behaviors and systems into practice, you and your family will be much more secure in and around public and residential pools.

CPSC recommends that you create a pool safety toolkit to have near your pool or spa to ensure that if the worst happens, you are ready to respond.

What should be in a pool safety toolkit for your home pool or spa?

  • A first aid kit
  • A pair of scissors to cut hair, clothing or a pool cover, if needed
  • A charged portable telephone to call 911
  • A flotation device
View our water safety program