Greater Sacramento Area

(916) 652 - 7709

Home with a backyard pool or spa

Life jackets

All non-swimmers should wear Coast Guard approved Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs)

when around water.

Make sure there is a proper fit and child cannot slip out.

Check weight designation inside the life vest.

Floatation aids and rings

Inflatable life rings, rafts, noodles, water wings, and boats

should not be considered a safety devise.

These can give children and parents a false sense of security

and greatly increase risk of drowning.

Boats, life rings and rafts can tip over with the off-balance weight and movement of a child.

Pool toys

Keep pool toys in shallow end for non-swimmers to safely play with (wearing their PFDs).

Empty the pool of toys when leaving pool area.

Floating toys are tempting and attract small children attention.

Children reach for them and loose balance.

Spas and Jacuzzis

Make sure that there is a lockable Spa Top to cover the water area when it is not in use.

Spas are small, warm, and enticing to young children.

Invite child in

Make it a rule that non-swimmers or weak swimmers have to be invited

off step or side into pool by an adult.

Do not allow children to haphazardly jump into water.

If they do excitedly jump in, without permission, establish an appropriate consequence

i.e. sitting out for a bit to make the point that this behavior is not acceptable.

A child’s life is at stake here.

Be consistent in enforcing the rules…that way children know what to expect.

Thunder and lightening

Never swim when thunder and lightening is present.

Even if current lightning is a few miles away, its behavior is random and unpredictable.

Water conducts electricity, which means that lightening can easily travel

through the water toward you.

As the highest object on the water, a person may be the most likely target.

Dive in deep end

Dive only into deep end of pool.

Head, neck and spinal injuries are the result of un-safe diving into shallow end of pool.

Avoid alcohol

Drug or alcohol use during swimming can prove extremely dangerous.

Teens especially need to learn about the dangers of water and alcohol /drugs.

NEVER drink alcohol when supervising children.

If drinking is done have a designated NON DRINKING adult supervising pool activities.

Reaching devices

Have poles, reaching devices and floating life-saving ring somewhere close to pool.

A long handled pool brush or pool skimmer can be used.

Anti-Suction drain covers

Make sure you have anti-suction drain covers required by current safety standards.

Hair can get caught in the suction of the drain trapping child under the water.

Teach children to never go near drains.

Hair or body parts (fingers) can get caught in drain openings.

Pin up long hair when possible or put in braids.

Pool covers

Pool covers should be electronically operated for greater protection.

Floating covers and manual covers are very dangerous,

as children think that they can walk on them.

They can get trapped under them.

If a child falls under a cover a suction is formed and they are unable to breathe.

It is difficult to lift off, even for an adult.

Large dogs

Dogs around a pool can be dangerous.

Dogs get excited and run back and forth

and can either knock a child in or jump in on top of them.

Dogs can also push open gates and doors allowing children a access to pool.

Riding toys

Riding toys around a pool are a hazard.

If a child falls in while riding they may not let go and will go down with the toy.

Hanging on side

Once non-swimmers or beginning swimmers start to loose fear of the water

they often take off around the pool hanging onto the pool deck edge

to make it to the other side of the pool.

This is dangerous.

They can tire and loose their grip and quietly slip into the water

without being noticed or heard and without adequate swimming skills.

Avoid distraction

Distraction call attention away from children…

i.e. telephone calls, doorbells, something cooking (overheating), laundry,

attention on other children’s needs, children fighting, or doing chores.

Drain water

If water collects in a puddle on the top of a motorized pool cover

a child can slip in the water and not be able to get up.

Algae grows in standing water.

A child can drown in less than two inches of water.

Pool sweeps

Children are interested in the pool sweep.

They attract a child’s attention.

If a child does fall in they can get tangled up in the equipment.

Take equipment out when swimming.

Dog and cat doors

Block child’s access to dog/cat doors by using closed doors,

baby gates, or barriers in front of animal doors.

Children are “great imitators”.

If a dog or cat can get through, so can a child.

Wading pools

Wading pools should be emptied of water after every use.

Always turn them upside down for added protection,

so there is no danger of water collecting in them.

Above ground pools

Keep ladders up and away from the pool when not in use.

Keep chairs, tables, ice chests, riding toys,

or anything a child can climb on away from pool sides.

Emergency cut off switch

Know where the cut off switch is for your pool pump,

so that it can be turned off in case of an emergency.

Establish rules early

Teaching children pool rules begins from day one.

Make the first rule be that your child knows to NEVER approach water without an adult present.


Inform all babysitters of the existence of a pool in the backyard

and instruct them NEVER leave a child unattended for any reason, outside or inside the house.

Make sure that sitter can swim and can perform CPR in case of any emergency.

Poolside phone

Take phone to pool (preferably land line) in case of an emergency.

Land line 911 calls show home address on the dispatcher’s screen.

Program the local emergency # into cell phone. Cell phone emergency 911 calls may go to a

dispatcher far from your home and it takes unnecessary, critical time

to be connected to local emergency help.

SECONDS count in case of an emergency!

Laying on belly

Teach small children when approaching poolside to lay on their bellies

at pool edge to touch the water.

There is far less chance of them loosing balance and toppling in if laying flat on the ground.

Adults-Know how to swim

If you are someone fearful of water,

you should be the last person to go near pool without being prepared.

Even before you give swim lessons to your child you can and must drown proof yourself.

Gates and latches

Have self-closing gates that can be locked when pool is not in use.

Check and service closure mechanism regularly.

Latches should be placed on the pool side, as high as possible, out of children’s reach.

Move large items away from fence

Keep chairs, tables, ice chests, riding toys, planters, ladders or any other climbing aids

away from the fence, that would allow a child to climb over fence into pool area.

Children are smart…they will move things up to a fence to try and climb over.

Check for loose fence boards

Check for loose boards in the event that you have a wooden fence.

Re-nail boards, with nails going in on an angle to prevent boards from falling down.

Help protect your family and neighbor’s children…screws are best.

Alarms and door locks

Have locks on all doors leading to pool area,

with appropriate audible alarm systems installed and serviced regularly.

Alarm systems only work if they are in proper working condition and are turned on.

Check under fences

Make sure that there are no holes where a child could squeeze under the fence.

If you have a dog check for dig holes.

If dog can get under…a child can and will follow.

Beware of distractions

Phone, doorbells, fighting children, another child’s needs…

ie diaper changing, bottles, feeding can divert attention from the pool activity.

If you have to leave always take child with you. Distractions can be deadly.

Older siblings

If you have older siblings and a toddler in the same household,

establish strict rules in regards to pool safety and follow them.

Doors and gates left open accidentally lead to tragedy.

Make your rules clear to friends that may be on your property.

Make sure your older children are trained in CPR and recertified as needed.


Both parents (or any adult living in the home)

should be trained in CPR and re-certified every year.

Starting CPR poolside can get needed oxygen into system immediately,

before emergency personnel arrive, and help save a life.

Never swim alone

Never swim alone.

Never allow older children to swim alone.

Make sure they swim with a buddy and are supervised by an adult.

At arms reach

If a non swimming child is playing in or near the water,

an adult must be within arm's reach and watching at all times.

This rules out reading, chatting on the phone or drinking alcohol.

Never leave your Child unattended

around a body of water, regardless of age or swimming ability.

You are your child’s only true drown proofing.

Fence pool from house

Fence pool whenever possible (around all four sides).

Place a fence between the house and the pool.

Fences should be 4 - 6 feet high and a type that is


Set example

Children imitate what they see.

Model the behavior that you want from your children.

Awareness of safety rules is for everyone.

Leaving pool

if you leave the pool area always take child with you.

Accidents happen in a matter of seconds.

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