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 toward drowning prevention.
- Keep a phone in the pool area. Do not answer the phone while your children are in the pool; use the phone only to call 911 should a problem occur.
- Post 911 emergency number on the phone to remind people to call 911 for emergencies.
- Have a First Aid Kit nearby.
- Keep basic lifesaving equipment by the pool and know how to use these items. A ring buoy, shepherd’s hook, life preserver, and U.S. Coast Guard approved personal floatation devices are recommended.
- An alarm bell that could summon help would be a good idea.
- Assign a Water Watcher during gatherings where children are present. The premise of the “Water Watcher” program is to assign an adult a specific time period in which their only responsibility is watching that the children playing in pools or open water are safe and accounted for. The “Water Watcher” tags are necklaces worn by adults in charge of supervising the children during family gatherings, picnics, parties or other times when children will be near potentially dangerous water sources. Remember: Designated Water Watchers don’t drink alcohol.
Click below for more information on “Water Watchers”
Never leave your children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment. Never leave small children unsupervised – even for a few seconds. Never go into the house to answer the telephone leaving a child unattended in the pool area. If a child is missing, check the pool first. Go to the edge of the pool and scan the entire pool, as well as the surrounding area.
- Learn child CPR, which differs slightly from adult CPR. Insist that babysitters, grandparents and others who care for your child know child CPR. Post adult and child CPR instructions in the pool area. For the nearest cardiopulmonary resuscitation class, contact your fire department, Red Cross or hospital.
- Teach your children how to swim or get them swimming lessons. Remember, teaching your child how to swim DOES NOT mean your child is safe in water. Never rely on swimming lessons to protect a child. Twenty-five percent of all drowning victims have had swimming lessons. Be sure all pool users know how to swim. Learners should be accompanied by a good swimmer.
Teach children what to do in case of emergency.
- Pool rules should be clearly communicated and understood by all persons — young or old — who use your pool.
- Remove all toys from the pool after use so children aren’t tempted to reach for them. Keep toys away from the pool when it’s not in use. Toys can attract young children into the pool.
- Never dive into an above-ground pool. Check the water depth before plunging into an in-ground pool. Keep clear of the area near a diving board.
- Never swim alone or allow others to do so.
- Keep CD players, radios and other electrical devices a significant distance from the pool area or nearby wet surfaces because of the hazard of electrical shock. Don’t use extension cords. Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) on any appliance or electrical device that is used poolside.
- Do not let your child use air-filled “swimming aids” because they are not a substitute for approved life vests and can be dangerous.
- Don’t let young children or children who cannot swim use inflatable toys or mattresses in water that is above the waist.
- Stay out of the pool during rain or lightning storms.
- Encourage your neighbors to follow pool safety guidelines, including keeping their back gates and doors locked, and their pool gates securely closed and latched.