According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), fatal drownings involving children younger than 5 has decreased 17 percent nationwide since 2010. However, the CPSC states that despite the decrease, drowning is still the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 to 4 and the second leading cause among children ages 5 to14. No matter how many years you have owned a pool, it’s important not to take safety for granted. Take advantage of today’s latest products and technologies to keep your pool safer.

No matter how many years you have owned a pool, it’s important not to take safety for granted. Take advantage of today’s latest products and technologies to keep your pool safer. Download the infographic.

Tip #1 – Pay Attention to Pool Drains

Between 2012 and 2016, the CPSC reports that 17 people became trapped in pool drains in the U.S., with 82 percent of the incidents involving children younger than 15 years of age. Each time you use your pool, check the drain covers to make sure they are properly installed, and don’t let kids play on or near them. It’s also important to make sure your drain covers are certified to meet the most current anti-entrapment standards, such as ANSI/APSP 16 or ANSI/ASMI A112.19.8 (this will usually be marked on the cover). Finally, make sure everyone who is using your pool knows where the emergency shut-off switch is located and how to use it in case someone becomes trapped.

Tip #2 – Prevent Unintended Pool Access

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has key drowning prevention tips including CPR, fencing, life jackets and being aware.

In addition to these key tips, consider the installation of a certified pool alarm to help keep anyone from entering your pool without your knowledge. Common types of pool alarms include:

  • Surface wave sensor (floats on water surface)
  • Sub-surface disturbance sensor (mounted to the pool wall below the water surface)
  • Wristband (worn on a child’s wrist to alert parents if the child should accidentally fall into the water)

Tip #3 – Use Pool/Hot Tub Covers Safely

Tests have shown that floating pool covers can return to their original position within as little as 10 to 20 seconds, potentially concealing or trapping a child or adult. Visit the Foundation for Aquatic Injury Prevention website for more information.

Don’t take chances -- Always remove covers completely before using a pool or hot tub. Small children and even animals can drown in the smallest amount of water. Be sure to drain standing water from the surface of your pool and hot tub covers, especially after rain.

Tip #4 – Store and Use Pool Chemicals Safely

The CDC estimates that more than 4,000 visits to U.S. emergency rooms each year are due to accidents caused by the mishandling of pool chemicals.1

At the start of the season, check your supply of pool chemicals and replace any that are beyond their expiration dates. When using treatment chemicals, always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and keep your pool and hot tub properly sanitized and maintained. Store chemicals in a cool, dry environment (generally below 95° F/35° C) and out of the reach of children.

Tip #5 – Always Supervise Kids

Small children require constant adult supervision around pools and hot tubs -- there is no substitute for the watchful eye of caring adults. Establish and enforce rules for pool and hot tub use. Don’t allow kids to run or play games near the pool, and keep toys, particularly tricycles or wheeled toys, away from pools, as children playing with these could accidentally fall into the water. Lastly, make sure you know if anyone using your pool is a non-swimmer, especially any children.

1https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6319a3.htm?s_cid=mm6319a3_w