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Pool and Water Safety


  • Never leave a child alone near a standing body of water and always designate a responsible adult to watch children swimming or playing in or around the water.
  • Make sure that your swimming pool area is separated from the house and play area by a four-sided fence with self-closing and self-latching gates.
  • To prevent underwater entrapment, ensure that your pool contains suction drain covers that meet applicable regulations.
  • Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).  You can save a life while waiting for paramedics to arrive.
  • When boating in open waters, be sure to wear U.S. Coast Guard- approved life jackets, regardless of the distance to be traveled, the size of the boat, or the swimming ability of the boaters.
  • Teach children to swim. Participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children between 1 and 4 years old.
  • With any recreational water activity always use the buddy system, be aware of local weather conditions, do not consume alcohol before or during recreational water activities, avoid swimming after dark, do not dive into unknown or shallow areas and watch out for dangerous waves or rip currents.
  • Never leave a child unsupervised in a bathtub, even for a second. Most siblings are not old enough to properly supervise a young child in this situation.
  • Never leave a child alone near a pool/spa, bathtub, toilet, water-filled bucket, pond, or any standing body of water.
  • An unclimbable, five-foot fence should separate the pool/spa from the residence. Fence openings should be no more than four inches wide so children cannot squeeze through the spaces.
  • The fence gate should be self-closing and self-latching with latches above a child's reach.
  • Never rely on flotation devices or swimming lessons to protect a child. Twenty-five percent of all drowning victims have had swimming lessons.
  • Don't allow children to play in the pool/spa area. Never keep toys around or in a pool.
    • Avoid swimming after dark.
  • Risk for drowning increases in muddy water of lakes, ponds, and rivers.
    • Avoid weak or thawing ice on any body of water.
  • Diving into shallow water can cause spinal injuries. Never allow diving in above-ground pools, shallow water, or unknown areas.
  • Require all persons to wear Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices when involved in water-related recreational activities, regardless of swimming ability.
  • Avoid using alcohol or other drugs prior to and during recreational water activities.

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Last Updated: 05-29-2013

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