Cool Rules for the Pool

What could be more refreshing than a dip in the pool on a hot summer day? But before diving in, consider safety. Drowning is the second most common cause of death among children under the age of 14, and it can happen quickly — in less than two minutes after a person’s head goes under the water. The following tips will help keep your child safe and “in the swim” of things all summer long.

Make sure your child:

  • Doesn’t swim if an adult is not in the pool area.
  • Obeys all posted pool rules.
  • Never dives into shallow water.
  • Swims with a buddy.
  • Walks slowly in the pool area and doesn’t run.
  • Doesn’t push or jump on others in or around the pool area.
  • Doesn’t chew gum or eat while swimming.
  • Knows how deep the water is.
  • Stops swimming during thunder or lightning. Remember, lightning is electricity — electricity and water are a dangerous combination.
  • Doesn’t swim in the dark.

Remember that kids, even when they know how to swim, need constant supervision around water. Younger children are especially at risk. They might have more limits when it comes to swimming. They may get tired more easily or get a cramp or develop another problem that makes it difficult to swim. If your child complains about a cramp, have him or her get out of the pool to rest.

Contact your local American Red Cross or community pool for information on swimming lessons or water safety courses. If your child is learning to swim, allow him or her to use only Coast Guard approved flotation devices. And remember that even though toys like rafts and kickboards and noodles are fun and can help your child learn how to swim, they aren’t meant to save lives.


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