Swimming Safely – Tips From the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross recommends the following guidelines to help keep your swimming pool safe and
1. Learn how to swim. It’s the best thing you can do to stay safe around the water. The American Red Cross offers swim courses for people of every age and ability. For information, contact your local Red Cross Chapter at http://www.redcross.org/where/where.html

2. Never swim alone. Swimming with a buddy adds to your fun and ensures that someone will be there to help you should you get in trouble.

3. Never leave children unattended in or around the swimming pool. An adult should be watching children at all times when they are in or around the water.

4. Children or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a personal floatation device (PFD) when around the water.

5. Learn CPR and insist that anyone who will be watching your children also know CPR. Your local chapter of the American Red Cross can provide you with training.

6. Keep a telephone by the pool so you can call 9-1-1 in an emergency.

7. To avoid attracting unsupervised children into the water, keep toys out of the pool and put away when the pool is not in use.

8. Enclose your pool with a self-locking, self-closing fence with vertical bars no more than four inches apart. Don’t leave furniture near the fence that would allow a child to climb over.

9. If a child is missing, check the pool first.

10. Keep basic lifesaving equipment by the pool, including a pole made of nonconducting material, a
rope and personal floatation devices.

11. Set water safety rules based on each person’s swimming abilities. Children and inexperienced
swimmers should stay in water less than chest deep.

12. Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts. Stop swimming and get everyone out of the
water at the first sign off inclement weather.

13. Unless your pool is designed for diving, always enter the water feet-first.

14. Don’t mix alcohol with diving or swimming. Alcohol affects your swimming and diving skills and impairs
your judgment.

For a complete list of swimming pool safety guidelines or information about swimming or CPR classes, contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org/where/where.html