According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Factsheet, “Unintentional Drowning: Get The Facts”, between “2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day.” Further statistics cite that the highest drowning rates in swimming pools occur in children ages 1-4.
Swimming pool drownings are often preventable. Following basic guidelines and rules, while promoting a fun and safe swim environment can make all of the difference.
Below we have listed common safe guidelines to follow for swimming pool safety:
- Never leave children unsupervised or alone in a pool, spa, or pool area. Designate someone responsible who can swim to monitor and supervise pool activity for everyone in the swimming pool, even if the swimmers know how to swim.
- If you are having a party, consider hiring lifeguards who are certified by the American Red Cross as lifeguards, trained in CPR and in swimming pool safety.
- Never swim alone. Always use the buddy system and have children use this system.
- Keep children away from filters, drains, pipes, and other pool equipment.
- Have your children learn to swim.
- Learn CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
- Do not drink alcohol if you are swimming.
- Non-swimmers who use the swimming pool should use U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices (PFD’s) not pool toys for flotation.
- Use caution on diving boards and pool slides. Never dive in a shallow end of the swimming pool.
- For any emergencies, contact 911 and seek medical attention immediately.
* These are only guidelines and references. Review all local regulations and laws in your area.
Pool Safety and the Weather
The weather often affects pool conditions. Dangerous conditions like storms or high winds can cause death or injury. Always be aware of the weather when in or around a swimming pool.
Lightning can cause injury or death from electrocution in and around the pool or spa area. A great guideline to follow for pool safety and lightning is from the National Lightning Safety Institute
Teach this safety slogan:
“If you can see it, flee it; if you can hear it, clear it.”
Swimmer Safety Resources
Additional resources for swimmer safety and swimming safely are listed below.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “Pool Safely” is a campaign from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that uses safety steps “to reduce childhood drownings, submersion injuries and entrapments.
The campaign stresses safety and prevention in and around a pool and has resources that includes online safety materials and references, as well as free printed materials available for distribution and reference.
American Red Cross, “Water Safety” includes resources for swimming and staying safe in the water.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention): “H2O SMARTZ”
The CDC website includes common sense tips and information for being safe in a pool and in the water.
NDPA, National Drowning Prevention Alliance helps prevent “drowning and aquatic and aquatic injuries” by raising public awareness, and providing resources to prevent drowning and promote safety in the water.
The NDPA website contains water safety information and educational materials as well as courses and videos.