Control Swimming Pool Accidents

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an estimated 260 children under five years of age drown each year in residential swimming pools and spas. Another 3,000 children under age five are treated in hospital emergency rooms following submersion accidents every year. Follow these tips to ensure your family's safety.

Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool. Provide constant adult supervision for anyone under the age of 12, and for anyone who is a poor or non-swimmer.
Learn to swim. The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim - this includes children as well as adults.
Completely fence the pool. Install self-closing and self-latching "child-proof" gates that enclose the pool entirely. Position latches and gate keys out of the reach of children. Have all safety features checked regularly, and be sure to use them at all times.
The area adjacent to the outside of the fence must be free of objects that may aid children in climbing over the fence. These include such items as chairs, tables, and tree branches.
Do not rely on one safety devices alone. Safeguard your pool in layers, with a pool cover; a fence around the pool (fences should be 5 feet high); rescue aids, such as rings, buoys and poles; proper doors and an alarm. Effective barriers are necessary preventive measures, but there is no substitute for supervision.
Learn first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Emergency first aid could save a life.
Post CPR instructions and 9-1-1 or your local emergency number in the pool area.
Never rely on flotation devices or swimming lessons to protect a child. Twenty-five percent of all drowning victims have had swimming lessons.
Mount basic lifesaving devices near the pool. Pole, rope and personal floatation devices are recommended. Many float-type toys are thought to be lifesavers - they are only toys and should be treated as such.
If a child is missing check the pool first. Go to the edge of the pool and scan the entire pool, bottom and surface, as well as the surrounding pool area.
Install a telephone by the pool or keep a cordless phone nearby so that you can call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
Clearly mark the deep end of the pool (more than 5 feet) by a painted line contrasting with the pool bottom. Also, the pool floor should be light in color to identify objects in the pool.
Keep CD players, radios, and other electrical devices away from pools or nearby wet surfaces.
Keep children away from pool filters, as the suction force may injure them or prevent them from surfacing.
Do not swim if you're tired or just finished eating.
Treat diving boards with respect. Never dive into an aboveground pool and check the water depth before plunging into an in-ground pool. Also, keep clear of the area near a diving board.
Chlorinate your pool. A chlorine residual of 0.5 part per million or higher will kill bacteria and keep algae in check. Excessively murky pool water can prevent you seeing someone unconscious on the pool floor.
Don't allow anyone who has been drinking alcohol to use the pool.
Stay out of the pool during rainstorms or during thunder or lightning.