Backyard Pool Safety

Published on: 04/26/2018

Supervision and awareness are vital to preventing accidental drownings. Distractions such as running to answer the phone or attending to guests are the main reasons adults take their eyes off children and that’s when accidents happen. Never leave children alone in or around water, not even for a second! Preventive measures are also a key part of water safety. Fences, latched gates and locked doors are among the various methods that, combined with supervision, can prevent drownings. Here are some ways you can prevent an accident.

Be safe in and around the water, especially when children are present. Assign a responsible adult to wear a water watcher badge while children are in or near water. The badge wearer takes responsibility to supervise until handing off to the next water


Pick up a complimentary Water Watcher card today at the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Emergency Room or Nicklaus Children’s Urgent Care locations.

Pool Tips:

  • Regularly check the gate/barrier for broken latches,rusty hinges and worn springs. Oil the hinges and latches, and make sure they are in proper working order.
  • Empty inflatable pools when not in use and remove steps to above ground pools when not in use.
  • NEVER leave a child alone when near water - whether the child is a toddler or school age, there should always be adult supervision. Even children who have had swimming instruction should be supervised.
  • Keep a phone handy in the pool area and use it only for emergencies.
  • NEVER leave toys or floating items in the pool that may tempt a child to reach into the pool.
  • NEVER leave the gate or entrance propped open.
  • Mark the deep and shallow ends of the pool.
  • Maintain secure covers to pool drains, vacuum outlets, and skimmers.
  • Post CPR instructions in the pool area. Familiarize yourself with them. Take a CPR course.
  • Keep a pole with a shepherd’s hook near the pool area for lifesaving purposes.

Yard Tips:

  • Lock backyard gates and front doors. If your house is on a canal or lake, put up a wall or fence barrier.
  • A child can drown in as little as 2 inches of water. Empty wading pools when not in use. Empty standing water from inflatable pools and spa covers and buckets.
  • Don’t leave outdoor furniture near the pool fence. Children can use it to climb over the fence. Place furniture inside the locked fence where it will be inaccessible.

Home Tips:

  • Install self-closing mechanisms on exterior doors and door sensors.
  • Attach hook-and-eye latches at the top of doors as added prevention.
  • Don’t fall into a false sense of security: A 4- or 5- year old can easily drag a chair to the door and flip a latch open.
  • Lock pet doors. Small children can easily fit through them.
  • Keep windows, doors and sliding doors locked at all times. Put keys out of reach of children.
  1. BE SAFE: Prevent access to your pool or spa using fences and self locking gates.
  2. BE SECURE: Lock the doors, windows, pet doors and gates leading to your back yard and pool/spa.
  3. BE ALERT: Pay attention to your kids the ENTIRE time they’re around water - ANY WATER! Never assume a child is accident proof just because they’ve had swimming instructions.
  4. BE READY: Take classes on how to administer lifesaving CPR and enroll kids in water-safety lessons.
Pool Safety Info graphic
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