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Water Safety Information


Home pool safety

  • Enclose your pool with a fence, wall, or other barrier at least 4 feet tall. Install self-latching gates that open outward.
  • Keep a portable phone in the pool area and program emergency contacts on its speed dial.
  • Keep a close eye on children and non-swimmers who are using inflatable toys and inner tubes. They could quickly and easily slide off them and drown.
  • Closely supervise children when they are diving or jumping in the pool. Head and back injuries are likely to occur during these activities.
  • Keep the pool's deck area clear of tripping hazards like toys, dishes, and hoses.
  • Review safety measures and rules with guests before they swim in your home pool.

Safety musts for children

  • When children are swimming, designate one adult to be watching them at all times. This adult’s only job is to watch the pool and they are not to be distracted by managing the grill, grabbing plates, or any other task.
  • Never leave a young child alone in a bathtub, wading pool, swimming pool, lake, or river. If you must answer the phone or get a towel, take the child with you.
  • Enroll children in swimming lessons taught by qualified instructors. But do not let your guard down because your child can swim. When panicked, many young children forget how to swim.
  • Teach your older children that they risk drowning when they overestimate their swimming ability or underestimate water depth.   

Safety musts for adults

  • Take swimming lessons from a qualified instructor if you're not a strong, competent swimmer.
  • Don't swim if you've been drinking alcohol.
  • Don't swim alone or allow others to swim alone.  
  • Stay out of the water during thunderstorms and other severe weather. During lightning storms, seek shelter away from metal objects, open areas, and large, lone trees.
  • Do not exceed your swimming ability. Know your limits and stick to them.
  • Check the water level before diving into a pool, ocean, pond, reservoir, or lake. Always dive with your arms extended firmly over your head and your hands together.
  • Don't dive into unknown bodies of water, like lakes, rivers, quarries, or irrigation ditches. Jump feet first to avoid hitting your head (and breaking your neck or back) on a shallow bottom, hidden rock, or other obstruction.

Boating safety

  • Check weather and water conditions before leaving shore.
  • Don't drink alcohol and operate a boat. Alcohol is a factor in many boating accidents. Choose a designated boat driver who will not drink.
  • Insist that everyone wear a Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device or life jacket while on board.
  • Always tell someone where you will be boating, when you expect to be back, and what your boat looks like.
  • Keep Coast Guard-approved visual distress devices, such as pyrotechnic red flares, orange distress flags, or lights on board.
  • Don't carry more passengers than the maximum listed on the boat's capacity plate.

What do you know about water safety?

To supplement the information in our helpful guide, we encourage you to put your knowledge to the test.

Click here to take the water safety quiz to find out more information! 

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