Water Safety Tips & Drowning Signs

Emergency life ring by swimming pool stairs.

Swimming Pool Safety Tips

Nothing can ruin a day by the pool like a safety scare. At-home pools can be enjoyed safely by observing water safety precautions and understanding how to identify if a swimmer is in distress. We’ve compiled two lists; one about common water safety tips and one about common signs of drowning. Review our safety tips and signs before you take the plunge!

5 Water Safety Tips You Need to Know Before Jumping In

Pool safety doesn’t have to be complicated. We’ve put together this list of the top 5 tips we think you should know:

  1. Don’t swim alone.
    Even experienced swimmers shouldn’t be in a pool alone. Accidents happen, and having someone to watch your back reduces your risk of injury or death from drowning. Children should always be supervised in or around a pool.
  2. Practice water safety skills with children
    Nobody is born an experienced swimmer. Working with your children from an early age, either teaching them yourself or enrolling them in swimming lessons, will help them learn the necessary safety measures to enjoy the pool.
  3. Learn life-saving skills.
    As a pool owner, you have added responsibilities to keep your guests and family safe. One way to do this is to attend a certified CPR class. For more information on what to do in an emergency, read these tips from the American Red Cross.
  4. Use a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for a safety device.
    Not all safety devices are created equal. Knowing which ones have been approved by the Coast Guard will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your family is safe. However, a life jacket isn’t a replacement for supervision. Children under five should wear a life jacket and be under constant supervision.
  5. Avoid drinking alcohol.
    Even though it might be tempting to have a beer or a cocktail while floating in the pool, alcohol diminishes your reaction time. If you or one of your children is drowning, being able to act fast is essential.

The Pool Safely Pledge

Another critical step before swimming is to take the Pool Safely pledge from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and download a water safety toolkit. This free resource can be saved directly to your phone or printed and posted poolside for quick reference.

7 Signs of Drowning You Need to Know

According to statistics from the CDC, there is an average of 11 drowning deaths per day. For children between the ages of 5-14, drowning is the second most common cause of accidental death, behind only car accidents. For children 1-4, drowning is the most common cause of death.

In most cases, drowning is silent and unexpected. It’s important to know that victims of drowning do not look like they are drowning. Review all of these warning signs with everyone using your pool. Knowing what to look for will help you all keep a watchful eye out:

  1. If the swimmer has their head low in the water or tilted back with their mouth open.
  2. Eyes glassy and empty, closed, or hair has covered the eyes, and they aren’t trying to remove it.
  3. Not using legs to swim or tread water.
  4. Hyperventilating or gasping.
  5. Trying to swim in a particular direction, such as to the edge of the pool, but not making headway.
  6. Trying to roll over onto their back.
  7. Their arms flail or they appear to be climbing an invisible ladder.

What To Do if Someone is Drowning

If you notice these downing signs while others are in the water, TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY!

  1. Remove the person from the water as soon as any signs of drowning have been identified.
  2. Place the person on their back and check for breathing and a pulse.
  3. Call 911.
  4. If you are trained, begin CPR if there is no pulse.

Drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs, and you may have less than 30 seconds to save a person from drowning. These timelines will also change if the drowning person is an inexperienced swimmer or a child.

Additional Water Safety Tips for Parents

Safety in a swimming pool doesn’t only include the water. If you have young children, taking these additional precautions can keep them safe.

  • Install a safety fence around your swimming pool.
  • Clear the pool and pool deck of any toys immediately after use.
  • Make sure you have compliant drain covers.
  • Install pool and gate alarms.
  • Install a safety cover for your pool.
  • Make sure your pool equipment is properly maintained.
  • Contact a pool service professional for a water safety inspection.

Inspections and Equipment Maintenance You Can Count On

Pool safety comes to two primary forms: preparation and vigilance. Although pool vigilance will fall on you and your family, the preparation should be left to the professionals. Once you’ve taken the Pool Safely pledge, learned CPR, and worked with your family to know the signs of drowning, the only other step you need is to contact America’s Swimming Pool Co. Our pool inspection services will give you the guidance you need to make sure that your pool is safe before diving in. Request an inspection online or call (866) 253-0455.