- Instruct babysitters about potential pool hazards to young children and 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 young 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 (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Babysitters and other caretakers, such as grandparents and older siblings, should also know CPR.
- 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 it is not in use. Toys can attract young children to the pool.
- Never prop open the gate to a pool barrier.
American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement. Prevention of Drowning. Pediatrics. 2010 May 24.
American Academy of Pediatrics Technical Report. Prevention of Drowning. Pediatrics. 2010 May 24.
American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement. Swimming Programs for Infants and Toddlers. PEDIATRICS Vol. 105 No. 4 April 2000, pp. 868-870. (reaffirmed October 1, 2004.)
Blanksby BA, Parker HE, Bradley S, Ong V Children's readiness for learning front crawl swimming. Aust J Sci Med Sport 1995; 27:34-37.
CPSC Document #5097. Backyard Pool Safety Alert.