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Stay Vigilant with Pool Safety During Summer

Water Safety
Never leave a child unattended near the water.

With several more weeks of summer remaining, the American Red Cross urges parents and caregivers to continue to pay extra attention to the safety of children in swimming pools and hot tubs. 

It’s just as important to remain vigilant around pools and other swimming areas at the end of summer as it is at the beginning of the season. The Red Cross recommends that caregivers rely on multiple layers of protection to keep kids safe. The best steps people can take to keep their families safe are to enroll in age-appropriate swim lessons and to never leave a child unattended near the water.

People should also follow these simple safety steps:

Water Safety

  • Do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Always stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
  • 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 around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Prevent Unsupervised Access to the Water

  • Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub. Safety covers and pool alarms should be added as additional layers of protection.
  • Ensure that pool barriers enclose the entire pool area, are at least 4-feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching and open outward, and away from the pool. The latch should be high enough to be out of a small child’s reach.
  • If you have an above-ground or inflatable pool, remove access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever the pool is not in use.
  • Remove any structures that provide access to the pool, such as outdoor furniture, climbable trees, decorative walls and playground equipment.
  • Keep toys that are not in use away from the pool and out of sight. Toys can attract young children to the pool.
  • Review pool and hot tub maintenance and safety tips.
  • Know What to Do in an Emergency

  • If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
  • If you own a home pool or hot tub, have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
  • Excellent Resources

  • Home Pool Essentials is an online course for pool and spa owners. Owners learn about risks, safety and maintenance issues and how to respond to an emergency.
  • Enroll in Red Cross water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
  • Download the Red Cross First Aid App and have expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand.
  • Visit or @PoolSafely on Twitter for vital safety information regarding the prevention of child submersions in and around pools and spas.
  • Tags: Pool Safety.
    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.