Summer’s Here – Pool Safely!

While Memorial Day Weekend is the official beginning of summer and pool opening season for much of the country, water safety should be a concern year-round.

Drowning claims nearly half a million people every year, and half of those victims are children. Drowning is the 2nd leading cause of accidental death for children 1-14 years old.

The Michael Phelps Foundation, founded by the Olympic gold medalist to promote swimming and water safety, recently became the latest partner in the Pool Safely campaign. Pool Safely, launched by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to reduce childhood drownings, has these tips:


  1. Always watch children when they’re in or near water. Pool Safely recommends designating an official, adult Water Watcher to supervise children in the water, even if there is also a lifeguard present. Watching should be their only task – they shouldn’t be reading, texting or playing games on their phone.
  2. Teach children to stay away from drains, and make sure all pools and spas have compliant drain covers. The suction from a pool or spa drain can be powerful enough even trap an adult.
  3. Install a fence at least four feet high around all sides of your pool or spa. The water should only be accessible through a self-closing, self-latching gate.Teach children to never try to climb over the gate or fence. Always remove portable pool ladders when not in use.
  1. When swimming outside, get everyone out of the water if you hear thunder or see lightning.
  1. Every child should learn to swim. Find free or reduced-cost options for swimming lessons from your local YMCA, USA Swimming chapter or Parks and Recreation Department.
  2. Help your child learn what to do in and around pools and spas with Pool Safely’s Adventures of Splish & Splash app.

Spread the word:  Children and adults can each take their own version of the Pool Safely Pledge.

Safe Swimming

Safe Swimming

Swimming can be one of the great joys of a child’s summer. But its important to be vigilant around water, and not just at the beach. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children 14 and under. And for children ages 1 to 4 its the leading cause. The majority of drownings and near-drownings occur in residential swimming pools (Foundation for Aquatic Injury Prevention).

Keep young swimmers safe with a few simple rules:

  • Lifeguards aren’t babysitters. Keep an eye on your kids, and never leave a child alone near water, whether on the beach or at a pool.
  • Enroll children older than age three in swimming lessons taught by qualified instructors. But keep in mind that lessons don’t make your child “drown-proof.”
  • Always follow posted safety precautions when visiting water parks.
  • When swimming outside, get everyone out of the water if you hear thunder or see lightning.

Teach your children these four key swimming rules:

  • Always swim with a buddy.
  • Don’t dive into unknown bodies of water. Jump feet first to avoid hitting your head on a shallow bottom.
  • Don’t push or jump on others.
  • Stay away from drains in pools and spas.

Water Safety Tip Sheet

Pool Safely