Summer Swimming and Pool Safety Tips
Senior Deputy Damian Alvarez from Thousand Oaks Police Department
Summer is around the corner and swimming is one of the most popular activities for children and adults. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office urges everyone to consider the following safety tips whenever you are in, on or around water.
Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards or provide supervision for children if a lifeguard is not present.
Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system.
Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses.
Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.
Arrange for certified, insured lifeguards for parties. One or more certified lifeguards should be on the “must
have” list of anyone hosting a pool party. According to the International Life Saving Federation, drowning
is a leading cause of death worldwide, and more than half of all drowning deaths are children under the
age of 15. While the presence of lifeguards isn’t a guarantee against accidents or injuries, their training
could be a lifesaver. Local recreation departments and businesses with pools employ lifeguards with
current certifications including water rescue, first aid and CPR. These places could be a good resource
for finding a certified lifeguard.
Prevent Unsupervised Access to the Water
Ensure that pool barriers enclose the entire pool area, are at least 5-feet high with gates that are selfclosing,
self-latching and open outward, and away from the pool. The latch should be high enough to be
out of a small child’s reach.
If you have an above-ground or inflatable pool, remove access ladders and secure the safety cover
whenever the pool is not in use.
Maintain Constant Supervision
Actively supervise kids whenever around the water—even if lifeguards are present. Do not just drop your
kids off at the public pool or leave them at the beach—designate a responsible adult to supervise.
Know “What to Do in an Emergency.” If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in
preventing death or disability.
Know how and when to call 9-1-1.
Enroll in home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and
respond to emergencies.
Swimming is the most popular summer activity. The best thing you can do to help your family stay safe is
to enroll your children in age-appropriate swim lessons and swim under the supervision of a certified
lifeguard. Have fun and stay safe. Additional water safety tips can be found on the internet.
Shared with all areas in Thousand Oaks Police Department in Crime & Safety
Millions of us enjoy warm weather every year by swimming in our backyard pools and relaxing in hot tubs. Tragically though, over 200 young children drown in backyard swimming pools each year.
The American Red Cross suggests owners make pool safety their priority by following these guidelines:
• Secure your pool with appropriate barriers. Completely surround your pool with a 4-feet high fence or barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate.
• Place a safety cover on the pool or hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps used for access. Consider installing a pool alarm that goes off if anyone enters the pool.
• Keep children under active supervision at all times. Stay in arm’s reach of young kids. Designate a responsible person to watch the water when people are in the pool—never allow anyone to swim alone. Have young or inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
• Ensure everyone in the home knows how to swim well by enrolling them in age-appropriate water orientation and learn-to-swim courses from the Red Cross.
• Keep your pool or hot tub water clean and clear. Maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration. Regularly test and adjust the chemical levels to minimize the risk of earaches, rashes or more serious diseases.
• Establish and enforce rules and safe behaviors, such as “no diving,” “stay away from drain covers,” “swim with a buddy” and “walk please.”
• Ensure everyone in the home knows how to respond to aquatic emergencies by having appropriate safety equipment and taking water safety, first aid and CPR courses from the Red Cross.