Swimming and pool safety

View a diagram that illustrates ways to keep your backyard pool area safe Document is a PDF (1.2 MB), and follow the tips below:

Be watchful and don't swim alone

  • NEVER leave a child unobserved around the pool; keep your eyes on children at ALL TIMES.
  • Always designate a "water watcher."
  • Teach older children to watch out for their brothers and sisters.
  • Always swim with a buddy.

Create a safe space

  • Enclose your yard and pool with a self-closing, self-locking fence with vertical bars. Fence openings should be no more than 4 inches wide.
  • Don't leave furniture near a pool fence that would enable a child to climb the fence.
  • Keep toys and pets away from the pool; they can cause a child to fall into the water.

Be prepared for emergencies

  • Keep basic lifesaving equipment by the pool and know how to use it. A pole, rope and life preservers are recommended.
  • Post CPR instructions and the 911 emergency number in the pool area.
  • Learn CPR and insist that anyone who cares for children know it as well.
  • Keep a cordless phone nearby, so no one has to go inside to answer or make a call.
  • Don't depend on floating toys; they are not designed to save lives. Use approved lifesaving equipment instead.

Respect water and practice safety

  • Don't run or engage in horseplay on pool decks. Decks are very slippery when wet.
  • Don't mix drugs or alcohol with swimming.
  • Always swim away from diving boards and slides; when jumping, diving or sliding, be sure to wait until others clear your landing area before entering the water.
  • If you are overheated, enter the water slowly. Rapid temperature changes can cause you to faint or lose muscle control.
  • Make sure pool-cleaning equipment, such as brush and skimmer poles, don't come in contact with power lines.

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