Summer is near and with that comes the increased use of swimming pools. Before you jump in, make sure the pool you’re using is safe and that there are rules in place. The National Safety Council reports that 600 children and adults drown annually in swimming pools; of those, half in home pools. In addition, more than 2,000 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms for submersion injuries.

Make a splash in swimming pool safety by following these 11 tips to protect your loved ones:

  1. An adult who is a strong swimmer should watch children at all times.
    • Infant and toddler — adult in the water holding the child
    • Older child — adult in the water paying constant attention and avoiding distractions like talking on the phone, texting, socializing, drinking
    • Never allow a child to swim alone regardless of their swimming ability
  2. Install a fence that completely surrounds the pool area to prevent children from entering on their own; fences should be climb-resistant, at least four feet high and be self-closing/self-latching.
  3. Install an alarm on the door of your house leading to the pool and the pool gate itself to alert adults if someone is entering the pool.
  4. Become CPR certified (check your local hospital for courses) and post instructions near the pool.
  5. Always keep a stocked first-aid kit nearby.
  6. Expose your children to water safety and swim lessons at a very young age (check your local recreation department, Y or Red Cross for class information).
  7. Never keep strollers or bikes near a pool.
  8. Enforce pool rules for children and adults to follow.
    • “No running on the pool deck”
    • “Stay away from drain covers”
    • “No diving in the shallow end”
    • “Always enter the pool feet first”
  9. Inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life jacket in the water.
  10. For additional protection, install a power safety cover over the pool when not in use.
  11. Never use a pool that has missing or broken pool drain covers; if someone does become stuck to a drain pry a hand between the person’s body and drain to break the seal instead of trying to pull their body away from the powerful suction.