Pool Safety – 11 Rules for Safe Swimming

Pool_Safety

It’s pool time again! This time of year is always exciting for kids who are eager to spend time in the water, but it’s also an important time to review pool safety rules for the entire family.

Drowning continues to be the second leading cause of injury-related death for children ages 1 to 18. Please take the time to read these points in their entirety and be diligent throughout the summer.

11 things to know and teach your kids about pool safety:

  1. Never leave children alone in or near a pool; this includes inflatable and other children’s pools. An adult should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision” for infants and toddlers. For older children, an adult should be paying constant attention and be free from distractions. The supervising adult must know how to swim. NOTE: Lifeguards are wonderful people to have around in case of an emergency, but they are watching a lot of children at once – always supervise your own children, or make sure a responsible adult has eyes on them at your request.
  2. Swimming lessons are recommended for all children. However, teaching your child how to swim DOES NOT guarantee that he or she is safe in water.
  3. Make sure there is a telephone by the pool in case of an emergency.
  4. Never leave a toy in or around a pool. It may tempt a child to jump in after it.
  5. If you use an inflatable or plastic pool, make sure you dump the water out of the pool after each use and turn the pool upside down when finished.
  6. If you have a pool at your home, install a fence at least four-feet high around all four sides of the pool. Pool covers and pool alarms are not a substitute for fencing. Make sure the gates in the fence self-close and self-latch at a height small children can’t reach.
  7. Know where rescue equipment, including a shepherd’s hook (a long pole with a hook on the end) and a life preserver, is for any pool in which your family swims.
  8. Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties” for young children. They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children a false sense of security.
  9. Teach children to never run, push or jump on others around water.
  10. Teach children to never swim alone and to never dive into water of an unknown depth.
  11. Counsel teenagers about the increased risk of drowning when alcohol is involved.

It’s important to know that children can drown in even the smallest body of water, including toilets, decorative fountains, portable pools, buckets and bath tubs. Children should be supervised by an adult if they are around any of these types of standing water.

The American Academy of Pediatrics provides an exhaustive list of pool safety guidelines as well as guidelines for boating and open water swimming (scroll to bottom of linked page). Please read more and be safe this summer!

Many thanks to Wendy Pomerantz, MD, MS, a physician in our emergency department, for her help compiling this information.

Kate Setter

About the Author: Kate Setter

Kate manages social media at Cincinnati Children's, a role that she loves because it gives her opportunities to help families find stories and pediatric health information that they want and need. Kate is the mother of a four year-old and a toddler, you will probably hear about them and their antics from time to time as well.

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Comments

  1. Taylor Marshall April 14, 09:04
    I seldom discuss these posts, but I think this deserved a well done
  2. Samuel Kelly June 23, 14:34
    Wonderful Piece
  3. kimberlymartin May 14, 01:24
    All we know the need of swimming pool. Swimming pool gives us a better life especially in summer. Thanks to Kate Setter for such an informative blog. Safety is very essential and the first aspect of swimming pool act. In my point of view all swimming pool owners should read this and follow all the safety tips. http://www.slideshare.net/annabelbennett15/swimming-pool-safety-maintenance-tips-39411834
  4. Cheryl Smith November 02, 15:45
    I like your tips discussing teaching kids about pool safety. I especially like tip number three, about making sure there's a telephone nearby. Teaching children the responsibility of being safe is critical. Hopefully, my children will be safe and aware around our pool.
  5. Charlotte Ehle June 29, 08:25
    Summer season is meant for pool parties, especially when you have 4th of July approaching the next week. Of course there will be children coming in. Therefore, one should plan in advance for pool parties and make the necessary arrangements to make sure children enjoy safely without holding themselves back. It is very important for the host to make sure that the safety rules mentioned in the blog are followed. Pool safety for kids can be easily taken care of by these steps. Additionally, we need to check the pool surface for problems and solve them through plastering and resurfacing. We should get it done immediately to avoid any mishap