You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Pools Observe “Pool Safely Day” Next Week

Water Safety
...enjoy the water—as long as you do it safely.

Water parks, municipal swimming pools and other indoor and outdoor aquatic facilities will be designating a day next week as “Pool Safely Day,” scheduling special events to remind everyone about pool safety. The events will be held in conjunction with the Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives campaign.

TheAmerican Red Cross is partnering with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on the campaign. Pool Safely works with partners around the country to reduce child drownings, near-drownings, submersions and entrapment incidents in swimming pools and spas. Parents, caregivers, and the media are encouraged to visit or @PoolSafely on Twitter for vital safety information regarding the prevention of child submersions in and around pools and spas.

This year, the campaign focus is on populations most at risk of drowning - children younger than 5 years old and African American and Hispanic children between the ages of five and 14. Almost 75 percent of child drowning fatalities involve young children under five. Statistics also show 70 percent of African American children and 62 percent of Hispanic children cannot swim, making them especially vulnerable around pools.

SIMPLE STEPS Whether you’re taking a dip in the pool or enjoying a day at the beach, the Red Cross encourages safety. Some easy and simple steps to take when at or near a swimming pool include:

  • Staying close to children, being alert and watching them in and around the pool
  • Learning and practicing water safety skills (know how to swim and learn First Aid and CPR)
  • Having the appropriate equipment (compliant drain covers, alarms, fences and other barriers, and sensors)
  • Ideally, you should learn to swim before enjoying the water. Here are some steps to take to enjoy your summer water fun:

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards. Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
  • Enroll in Red Cross Water Safety, First Aid and CPR/AED courses or take the online Home Pool Essentials course to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
  • Download the American Red Cross First Aid App.
  • WATCH CHILDREN AT ALL TIMES With children, constant supervision is key. Keep them in your line of sight at all times when enjoying the pool. Other steps to take include:

  • Secure the pool with appropriate barriers. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.
  • Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water, and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
  • If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • Download the American Red Cross Water Safety Tips PDF

    NEW STATISTICS released by CPSC include:

  • The annual average of pool or spa-related drownings for children younger than 15 from 2007 to 2009 was 390. About 75 percent (293) of these reported fatalities involved children younger than five.
  • Approximately 58 percent of fatalities (annual average of 226) occurred in in-ground pools. Portable pools accounted for 10 percent of the reported fatalities (annual average of 40) to children younger than 15 years of age.
  • There were no reported entrapment fatalities for 2011. CPSC received seven reports of entrapment injury incidents during 2011.
  • For the complete reports see: Pool and Spa Submersions 2012 (pdf) and Circulation/Suction Entrapments 2012 (pdf). The years for reported injury and fatality statistics differ due to a lag in fatality reporting.

    About CPSC:

    CPSC is an independent federal regulatory agency created by Congress in 1972 “to protect the public against unreasonable risks of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products.” The Pool Safely campaign is CPSC’s national information and education program associated with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act). The Pool Safely campaign is designed to raise public awareness about drowning and entrapment prevention, support industry compliance with safety standards, and improve safety at pools and spas. The Pool Safely campaign is proud to partner with leading organizations, including Abbey's Hope, American Red Cross, Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP), Infant Swimming Resource, National Aquatic Safety Company (NASCO), National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA), National Swimming Pool Foundation, Safe Kids USA, United States Swim School Association, USA Swimming Foundation, World Waterpark Association (WWA), and The YMCA of the USA. For more information, visit the website at and follow the campaign on Twitter @poolsafely.

    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.