7 Steps to Keep Your Kids Safe at the Pool

Keeping your kids safe at the pool, or anytime they’re near water, is a year-round concern. But since May is National Water Safety Month, it’s a great time for a refresher on the rules of pool safety for kids.


Games to play in the swimming pool

  1. Don’t swim alone. This rule applies to all swimmers, regardless of age. In private pools, or situations where no lifeguard is present, younger children or swimmers who are not completely confident in their skills should always have a strong swimmer closely supervising them. Even strong swimmers should never use the pool alone, in case of an unexpected medical emergency. 
  2. Teach basic swimming techniques. Even at a young age, a child can learn basic swimming skills. The American Red Cross suggests swim lessons for children as young as six months. If your children are comfortable enough in the water to keep themselves afloat, it can make a huge difference in terms of how much time you have to get to them should they accidentally enter the water. 
  3. Create barriers-to-entry. If you do own a pool, your pool area must comply with state and local regulations for barriers-to-entry, which likely include fencing with self-latching gates, as well as locks and alarms on the windows and doors of your home that face the pool area. However, in addition to complying with those regulations, consider an automatic pool safety cover. Automatic pool covers give you the added peace of mind of knowing no one (from inside or outside your home) can enter the pool without your knowledge when your cover is closed. 
  4. Be aware of the dangers of the drain. Install anti-entrapment drain covers and safety release systems to keep swimmers safe from drain-related injuries. Teach your children that they should avoid the drain area in any pool they swim in, and instruct them to ask for help if a toy gets stuck near the drain. 
  5. Monitor kids constantly. Parents (or other responsible adults) should tag-team each other on kid-watching duty at the pool to ensure constant supervision. If a child is missing, check the water first, as seconds matter if a child is under water. 
  6. Insist on safe pool area behavior. Don’t allow children to dive or push each other into the pool or run around the pool area. Teach your children that it’s never okay to push a friend under water, splash friends excessively, or pretend to need help in the water as a game. Don’t allow toys in your pool that aren’t specifically designed for swimming pools, and do insist on regular time-outs for all swimmers. 
  7. Learn CPR. Parents should consider taking a CPR class from the American Red Cross or local healthcare facilities. You’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you’re equipped with potentially life-saving skills should a water-related accident occur. 

Safety first

Swimming pools are great places for families to spend quality time, get exercise and have fun. However, pool safety for kids must be top-of-mind for all pool owners and parents. As swim season approaches, take time to review the rules of water safety with your family. To make it fun for your kids to learn the rules of pool safety, download 10 Cool Pool Rules for Kids and read through it with them today! 

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