Water Safety

Keeping Your Swim Area Safe

Pools can be a fun and enjoyable part of any backyard. Whether it’s inground with a deep-end, a twenty-jet hot tub, or a plastic wading pool, it’s important to make sure you set up and maintain a safe space for your family and friends.


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  • Check your setup

    • Install a fence around all sides of your pool. To make sure that kids can’t get past the fence, choose one that’s at least 4 feet high and doesn’t have any spaces or gaps bigger than 4 inches. Also keep ladders, chairs, and other objects away from the fence so that kids can’t use them to climb over it. 
    • All gates or doors around the pool or hot tub area should have self-closing and self-latching locks that kids cannot reach. 
    • If possible, place alarms on back doors and windows that lead to and overlook the pool area, so you’ll be alerted if someone’s heading in that direction. 
    • Make sure your hot tub or spa has a hard safety cover that locks. Put the cover back on when you're leaving the area. 
    • To avoid slips and falls, make sure that the area around the pool or hot tub has a nonskid surface.
  • Maintain it safely

    • Keep the decks clear. Make sure to move toys, furnishings and electrical appliances away from the pool, hot tub or spa area so that people avoid slips, falls and getting shocked. 
    • Take all toys out of the water when playtime is over. Kids could be tempted to reach for them later. 
    • Empty portable pools after each use and store them upside-down and away from kids.      
    • Inspect ladders, handrails and diving boards regularly to ensure that they haven’t become loose or damaged. 
    • Keep pool, hot tub or spa chemicals locked up and away, out of your child’s sight and reach. Try to use them only when your children are not around.
  • Stay away from drains

    • Keep children away from drains and pipes. Their bodies, hair or clothing can get caught in the suction from these openings and trap them.
    • Always use anti-entrapment drain covers and automatic drain suction shutoff devices. Check the covers regularly for cracks or looseness, and, if you can, replace flat drain covers with dome-shaped ones. 
    • If a pool, hot tub or spa doesn’t have a drain cover, stay out. Kids should let a parent or lifeguard know if they see a drain cover is broken, loose or missing, and should avoid the water until the problem has been fixed.
  • Be ready for an emergency

    • Learn CPR and first aid, because seconds matter in an emergency. Find a class in your area here
    • Always have a phone with you so that you don’t need to leave the area and can quickly call for help in an emergency. 
    • Place rescue equipment like life preservers and a rescue hook, as well as CPR instructions, near the pool, hot tub or spa. 
    • Keep a first aid kit in a safe and convenient location, and be sure to check and restock it regularly.

Did You Know?

During the summer in the U.S., a child drowns every 5 days in a portable pool.

- Nationwide Children’s Hospital