Pool Safety Tips Every Family Should Know

Pool Safety Tips Every Family Should Know

Familiarize yourself with these pool safety tips for families this summer.

By Maria Mora

Summer weather is in full swing, with many areas of the U.S. experiencing record temperatures. For many families, that means it's time to hit the neighborhood or backyard pool. Sadly, about 10 people die of accidental drowning every day. Make your summer a safe summer. Keep these important safety tips in mind when your family enjoys the pool.

Familiarize yourself with basic first aid
In an emergency, every second counts. Make sure a phone is available near the pool. Keep a family first aid kit somewhere easily accessible from the pool area. The U.S. Swim School Association (USSSA), consisting of over 400 instructors, recommends that parents create a water safety plan and have water emergency drills with kids. Everyone in the family should learn to recognize the signs of someone struggling in the water. All adults and teens in the home should consider taking CPR classes.

Make sure one adult is always watching the kids
Someone can drown in seconds. At a large gathering, adults may socialize and expect others to keep an eye on swimming kids. Make sure one adult is designated as the person watching the pool. Consider using a necklace or hat to identify the adult on duty. The USSSA also recommends that parents teach kids never to enter the water without verbal permission. This helps make sure that an adult is ready to supervise.

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Use a pool alarm and pool fence at home
A surface alarm alerts adults to unauthorized pool entry. If a child falls in or enters the pool without being supervised, the alarm will sound. This doesn't replace the security of a pool fence and supervision, but it's an added and important measure of security when you own a pool at home. Home pools should be surrounded with a safety fence that has a self-locking gate that can’t be easily left ajar.

Enroll children and infants in swim lessons
Swim lessons don't eliminate the need for close supervision, but they're an excellent way to promote water safety throughout the family. Even young infants can benefit from water safety classes with a parent. Ask your local community pool about safety-focused classes. The USSSA recommends starting classes when infants are 6 months old.


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Discourage roughhousing in the pool
Kids can get wild in the water, but it's important to teach and model safe behavior. Never jump off of a chair or other raised platform into the pool. Don't allow kids to wrestle or drag each other under water. Avoid placing toys that aren't specifically pool toys in the water. Swim instructors with the USSSA advise against using floatation devices to teach non-swimmers how to float or swim.

When did you begin swim lessons with your kids?

Maria Mora is communications director at Big Sea Design and Development in St. Petersburg, Florida. She lives with her two sons and their rescue terriers.

Image ©iStock.com/PeopleImages

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