Swimming and pool safety
View a diagram that illustrates ways to keep your backyard pool area safe (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.