Rules for Pools

Every pool owner should set guidelines. Here’s a checklist created by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

• Instruct babysitters about potential pool hazards to young children. Inform caregivers about the use of protective devices, such as door alarms and latches. Emphasize the need for constant supervision.

• Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool. During social gatherings at or near a pool, appoint a “designated watcher” to protect children from pool accidents. Adults may take turns being the “watcher. “ When adults become preoccupied, children are at risk.

• If a child is missing, check the pool first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability. Go to the edge of the pool and scan the entire pool, bottom and surface, as well as the pool area.

• Do not allow a young child in the pool without an adult.

• Do not consider young children to be drown-proof because they have had swimming lessons. Children must be watched closely while swimming.  

• Do not use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.

• Learn CPR. Babysitters and other caretakers, such as grandparents and

• Keep rescue equipment by the pool. Be sure a telephone is poolside with emergency numbers posted nearby.  

• Remove toys from in and around the pool when not in use. Toys can attract young children to the pool.  

• Never prop open a gate used as a pool barrier.

Reprinted from How to Plan for the Unexpected, a pamphlet published by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.