How to Prevent Drownings

The following tips can help to prevent drownings. 

Behavior: Take Responsibility

  • Designate a "Water Watcher" – this is an adult whose only job is to watch children when they’re in the pool. It’s important that the designated Water Watcher is not distracted by texting or phone calls. Watch children, never leave them unattended around a pool or spa, no matter how good of a swimmer they are. 
  • Teach children basic water safety tips. Share these tips with family, friends and neighbors.
  • Check drain covers. Regardless of whether you’re swimming in your home pool or visiting a public pool, be sure that the drain covers are not lose or broken. Drains should be “VGB compliant,” which means they meet safety standards. If you own a pool and you’re not sure if your covers are safe, a pool technician can let you know. Note nearest phone, keep cell phones close. 
  • Always check the pool or spa first when a child is missing.

Learn: Take Action

  • Teach kids to swim. While supervision is critical, it’s also important for children to learn how to swim. Kids who can’t swim face a much higher risk of drowning, so sign your children up for swimming lessons. Swimming is a life skill that will help them well into adulthood. 
  • Learn to preform CPR on children and adults. Be prepared to help in a water emergency. CPR could mean the difference between life and death. 

Equipment: What You Need to Know

  • Home pools should have the same layers of protection as public pools. Install a fence at least 4 feet in height.
  • Use self-closing and self-latching gates. Ask your neighbors to do the same. 
  • Install door alarms or pool alarms if the door to a dwelling is used as a barrier
  • Ensure drain covers are VGB compliant (more information)
  • Have life-saving equipment such as life rings or reach poles available for easy use.
  • Check pool chemistry to prevent waterborne illness. 
  • Remove or secure ladders and entrances into a pool.