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Published on May 29, 2014 by Edgar Snyder

17 Swimming Safety Tips to Keep Summer Fun Safe

swim

Dive Into Summer Fun, But Only if it's Deep Enough

A lot of families recognize Memorial Day as the unofficial start of summer, a good spot on the calendar to start unwinding a bit more. With the weather heating up, there are few better ways to do just that than with a refreshing swim. In a backyard or public swimming pool, it's important to beware of the dangers that can lead to unfortunate accidents.

In an average summer, 51 children ages 0-5 will drown in backyard pools alone. Older children, teenagers, and even adults have these accidents, too, but children are the most vulnerable around water. It's important to make sure that you and your friends and loved ones always maintain a safe environment around the pool.

Pool Safety Tips for Adults:

  • Always supervise young children at the pool/beach. They can be unpredictable, and even a few seconds is enough time for them to end up in a dangerous situation.
  • Keep gates to backyard pools and covers on hot tubs locked so kids can't go in without supervision. If they go alone and get into trouble, no one may be close enough to help.
  • Keep a phone close to pools and hot tubs in case someone has to call 911.
  • Teach kids to stay away from drains and filters. Countless hospital horror stories have come from children getting caught in these.
  • Keep pool decks clear of toys and furniture to avoid slips and falls.
  • Never dive in shallow water. Hitting your head off the bottom of a pool can lead to head and spinal cord injuries which could result in paralysis.
  • Alcohol and water don't mix. Always have a clear head when swimming, especially if you're responsible for any children.
  • Know CPR in case of an emergency.
  • If a child is missing, check pools and hot tubs first. If that's where they are, it's important not to waste any time.
  • Put a fence around pools that's at least 4' so it can't be climbed or jumped. Keep posts no further than 4" apart to prevent children reaching through to the latch.

For Kids:

  • Don't play rough in the water. If you or your friend gets hurt underwater, they might not be able to come back up for air quickly enough.
  • Don't run around the pool deck. If you slip and fall, you could get hurt or fall into the water.
  • Don't dive headfirst into shallow water. Diving gives you a lot of speed under water, and you don't want to hit your head on the bottom of the pool. If you're unsure if diving is safe, don't risk it.
  • If you're swimming at a friend's house, make sure you find out where their safety equipment is (life preserver, first aid kit) just in case.
  • Tell a parent or babysitter when you swim at a friend's.
  • Don't swim where you're not comfortable. If the water is too deep for you, trust your gut.
  • Tell an adult if anything seems wrong or unsafe with the pool. Better safe than sorry!

For more info and safety tips to keep your pool a safe, relaxing place this summer, check out our Pool Safety Infographic.

Source: Safe Kids Worldwide Water Safety. 2007. "Tips to avoid a summertime ER visit." CBS News. May 26, 2014.
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