Check the pool first if a child is missing. Provide adult supervision 100 percent of the time. Never leave a child alone in the pool area - not for any reason - not for any length of time. Do not use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.
Most children who drown in backyard pools gain access from the house. If your pool is not fenced off from the house, completely fence the pool. Install self-closing and self-latching gates with child resistant locks at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) above the floor on all doors leading to water. Position latches out of reach of young children and keep all doors and windows leading to the pool area secure to prevent small children from getting to the pool. Effective barriers and locks are necessary preventive measures, but there is no substitute for supervision.
Consider installing a pool alarm and a spa/pool safety cover, but beware of a free-floating spa/pool cover. A child can slip beneath one unnoticed. Check to ensure that spa and pool covers pass minimum safety requirements set by the American Society of Testing Materials. Never have the spa/pool cover partially in place since children may become entrapped underneath.
Remove ladders and steps from aboveground pools. Place tables and chairs well away from the pool fence to prevent children from climbing into the pool area. No objects should be in the aboveground pool area for a child to climb on and into the water. Keep toys away from the pool area because a young child playing with the toys could accidentally fall in the water.
Instruct babysitters about potential hazards to young children in and around swimming pools and the requirement of constant supervision.
Do not consider young children “drown proof” because they have had swimming lessons; young children should always be watched carefully while swimming. Separate the deep and shallow ends with a floating safety line.
Encourage sobriety from your guests when entertaining near the pool.
Have a telephone poolside. Keep emergency numbers at the poolside telephone.
Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). For a list of upcoming classes offered by Escambia County Public Safety visit myescambia.com.
Keep the following safety equipment poolside: non-metal reaching pole, throwing line with buoyant aid and first aid kit. Inspect safety equipment regularly. Preventative devices are only effective if they are in working order.
Do not dive head first into shallow water or water that you are unsure of the depth.
Store all pool chemicals under lock and key.