10 Pool Safety Tips to Keep Swimming Fun

by Holly Homer
Average rating of 3.5/5. (3 Ratings)
My rating
  • I love it!
  • I like it a lot!
  • I like it.
  • Just okay.
  • Not for me.
Pool Safety

One of the things I like best about the summer is playing at the pool with my boys.  It is an activity that we all enjoy and it helps keep us cool on hot Texas days.  

Whether it is in a friend's backyard, the community pool or a crowded water park, taking basic safety precautions can assure that everyone has a safe time at the pool.  

Here are 10 common-sense tips for parents to keep safety first.

1.  Swim where there is a lifegaurd (or responsible parent) on duty.

I know this seems obvious and is posted at every pool, but situations arise all the time where this is an issue.  Many people think about this when it comes to an apartment, community or hotel pool, but what about when your child swims at a friend's house?  Making sure an adult is monitoring the pool at all times is essential.  Even strong swimmers can get overwhelmed especially when distracted by playing with a buddy.

2.  Small doesn't equal safe.

Hot tubs can be just as dangerous as large pools.  PoolSafely.gov recommends the same safety precautions for both including safety covers and fences. Children need to be monitored at all times no matter the size of the space they are splashing in.

3.  Kids should avoid drains and pipes.

Pool plumbing can be a hazard.  Moved by the tragic death of a 7-year-old girl who was entrapped by a drain, Congress passed the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act to require pools to comply with safety standards.  A helpful checklist to determine whether your pool is safe is available at PoolSafely.gov.

4.  Keep it mellow.

I can still hear the echos of "No running!" yelled from a lifeguard chair from my time at our city pool as a child.  That advice was good advice.  Running on slippery surfaces is dangerous for everyone around.  Someone could fall into the pool, accidentally push a smaller child towards water or hit the slick pool deck causing injury.  Keeping horseplay under control may take some self-control {and parental instruction}, but in the end everyone will have a better day.  Don't forget to set a good example!

5.  Wear sunscreen.

This is something that I am a little obsessed with in the summer and my kids tease me about it, but I am willing to take the ridicule for this good cause!  Even if kids are outside for just a few minutes, they are prone to sunburn.  I love the sunscreen swim gear that now can be found almost anywhere swimming suits are sold.  My boys always wear swim shirts with a good SPF.  They protect better than t-shirts and are much easier to wear in the pool because they are not bulky and dry quickly.  This also gives me the ability to place sunscreen underneath the shirts for an extra layer of protection.  If you are watching other kids at the pool, check with their parents for possible sunscreen allergy issues which are not uncommon to specific ingredients.

6.  Don't step away.

I am busy.  You are busy.  We all have that ONE thing that needs to be done right now!  But slipping away to change the laundry or answer a phone call could be a snap decision with disasterous consequences.  If something really needs your attention, call a swim break.  Everyone out of the pool and indoors for a safety pause.

7.  Have a first-aid kit on hand.

Being prepared for minor injuries can help avoid major ones.  Bumps and bruises are a part of childhood.  When they are easily treated with bandages, antibiotic ointment and cleaning pads that you have on-hand, the fun can quickly continue.

8.  Set boundaries.

If you are in charge, don't be afraid to take charge.  Showing kids where the deeper parts of the pool are before they enter is always a good idea.  Taking kids on a "pool tour" to see where they can touch and where the easiest way to an edge is can help them find safe splashing places.  Very small children should NEVER be in a pool without an adult, even if it seems shallow.

9.  Watch out for lightning.

Lightning sometimes beats rain.  Even if it isn't raining yet, lightning in the distance should be a reason to run for cover away from water.  An approaching storm is a sign to get out of the pool.

10. Be a party-pooper.

Nobody wants the fun to end, but if you notice kids getting tired, it is time to take a water break.  Providing plenty of drinking water is sometimes overlooked with all that water in the pool, but dehydration is a real possibility even when swimming.

Safety is essential to summertime pool fun.  Supervising swimming and splashing kids is a hands-on activity with the bonus that YOU are in the middle of the sunny adventure.

With research assistance by Gregory Sidor

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, profile photo and other personal information you make public on Facebook (e.g., school, work, current city, age) will appear with your comment. Learn More.
Most Popular on Facebook