Water Safety Tips from our friends at the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)
Teach children water safety and swimming skills as early as possible.
Always brief babysitters on water safety, emphasizing the need for constant supervision.
Appoint a “designated watcher” to monitor children during social gatherings at or near pools.
Equip doors and windows that exit to a pool area with alarms.
Install a poolside phone, preferably a cordless model, with emergency numbers programmed into speed-dial.
Post CPR instructions and learn the procedures.
Keep rescue equipment poolside. Don’t wait for the paramedics to arrive because you will lose valuable life-saving seconds. Four to six minutes without oxygen can cause permanent brain damage or death.
Keep a first aid kit at poolside.
Install four-sided isolation fencing, at least five feet high, equipped with self-closing and self-latching gates, that completely surrounds the pool and prevents direct access from the house and yard.
Maintain constant visual contact with children in a pool or pool area. If a child is missing, check the pool first; seconds count in preventing death or disability.
Don’t use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision. Never allow a young child in a pool without an adult.
Don’t leave objects such as toys that might attract a child in the pool and pool area.
Never prop the gate to a pool area open.
Don’t rely on swimming lessons, life preservers, or other equipment to make a child “water safe.”
Never assume someone else is watching a child in a pool area.
Don’t leave chairs or other items of furniture where a child could use them to climb into a fenced pool area.
Don’t think you’ll hear a child who’s in trouble in the water; child drowning is a silent death, with no splashing to alert anyone that the child is in trouble
Water Safety Tips from the Pool Safely "Simple Steps Save Lives" Program
1. Staying close, being alert and watching children in and around the pool
- Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your child when he or she is in or near water
- Teach children basic water safety tips
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments
- Have a telephone close by when you or your family is using a pool or spa
- If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first
- Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors
2. Learning and practicing water safety skills
- Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim
- Learn to perform CPR on children and adults, and update those skills regularly
- Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency
3. Having appropriate equipment for your pool or spa
- Install a four-foot or taller fence around the pool and spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools.
- Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa.
- If your house serves as a fourth side of a fence around a pool, install door alarms and always use them. For additional protection, install window guards on windows facing pools or spas.
- Install pool and gate alarms to alert you when children go near the water
- Ensure any pool and spa you use has compliant drain covers, and ask your pool service provider if you do not know
- Maintain pool and spa covers in good working order
- Consider using a surface wave or underwater alarm
Find more tips for pool & spa owners at poolsafely.gov.