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Swimming and Water Safety 2018

School’s out and the summer’s here. Like every year, Pediatrix wants to provide parents and guardians with helpful tips to keep their children safe in the pool.

Quick Facts

  • In the U.S., drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1-4.
  • A child can drown in the time it takes to answer a phone.
  • Of all preschoolers who drown, 70% are in the care of one or both parents at the time of the drowning and 75% are missing from sight for five minutes or less.


  1. Establish Rules. Make sure everyone knows the rules before entering the pool area and continually enforce them. Small children don’t always think before they act, so state the obvious before it becomes an issue.
  2. No Swimming Unattended. Install locks on doors and sliding doors high enough to prevent children from heading out to the pool alone. Always shut and lock pool gates and patio doors at apartment complexes and hotels, and at home when pool time is over.
  3. Life Guard Duty. Always have at least one adult assigned to watch those in the pool. Don’t assume someone is watching. If there is drinking at a pool party with children, have some designated drivers on lifeguard duty, because alcohol decreases awareness and slows response time.
  4. Swimming Abilities. Use the appropriate flotation devices and supervision with children who are still learning to swim. Also, don’t overestimate the abilities of adults who will be supervising children. They will need to be able to rescue a child in case of an emergency.
  5. Use Steps. No diving or running. This prevents injuries like falling on the pool deck, as well as reducing the risk of drowning.
  6. Maintain Safety Equipment. This includes pool drains, covers, ladders, fencing, barriers, locks, first aid kits, and rescue equipment. ​​​​
  7. Pick Up Toys. Put away pool toys so children don’t go in after them later.
  8. Head Count. Always know where every child is. If a child is missing, time is of the essence. Always check the pool first, even if you thought he or she was playing somewhere else.
  9. CPR and First Aid. Get yourself certified, and post CPR information by the pool as a reminder in case of emergency.
  10. Visit the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona for more tips and resources, including city codes regarding pool safety.

Note: this article was originally posted on April 30th, 2017

Posted in Blog, Safety on May 14th, 2018