Surround your on-property pool with a four-foot fence that includes a self-closing, self-latching gate. Consider adding a door alarm system to boost security even more. The pool should be equipped with functioning and compliant drain covers to prevent a suction-related injury. Confirm rescue equipment is in good condition and stored in an accessible location. Place a well-stocked first aid kit near the pool. Keep the deck area clutter-free. Securely fasten the cover when the pool is not in use.
Children and adults unable to swim should sign up for age-appropriate swim classes. Responsible adults should also take a certified CPR course. Develop a worst-case scenario plan and discuss it with family members. Knowing how to react when an accident occurs may save someone's life.
Closely supervise children, even when lifeguards are on duty. Life jackets are a must for young children and others that are not strong swimmers. Review pool rules with kids before they get in the water. Always swim with a buddy. Never be in the pool alone. Walk (not run) on the pool deck.
Be aware of extra challenges that come with swimming in a lake, river, or ocean. For example, the water may be deeper or shallower than expected. Check depth, look for submerged limbs, rocks, or foreign objects, and put on a life jacket before jumping in. Be alert to algae, pollution, or other hazards that make it risky to get in the water. Natural bodies of water may contain currents that pull swimmers away from the shore. Swim near the edge and stay close to the group.
Adults should avoid alcoholic beverages, especially when supervising children in the water. Keep your eyes on kids rather than your book, cell phone, or other distraction. Be alert and ready to respond if something unforeseen occurs. Always check the water first if a child does come up missing.