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School’s Out, Swimming is In: 10 Important Pool Rules for Kids

School’s Out, Swimming is In: 10 Important Pool Rules for Kids

9th Jun 2023

School’s out and swim season is in full swing! Many households have summer rules to keep kids in line. But if you have children and a swimming pool, it’s important to post a list of Pool Rules and go over them regularly with young swimmers.

Most pool rules are straightforward, but like anything involving kids, they bear repeating.

Here, we’ve listed some common pool rules and created a handy Swimming Pool Rules PDF you can print and post by your pool entrance.

Swimming Pool Rules

  1. No swimming alone. First and foremost, children should never swim alone in the pool.
  2. Also, children should never swim without adult supervision. It’s a good idea to have two or more adults keeping an eye on the water at all times.
  3. Surfaces around pools can be slippery when wet. Caution children against running around or near the pool. Everything from bumps and scrapes to serious injuries can be avoided by walking and watching where they are going.
  4. No diving headfirst, especially in shallow water. Diving accidents account for numerous drownings and paralysis injuries each year. In fact, SafeHome discovered that “between 2021 and 2022, injuries from diving or diving boards increased a staggering 72% and swimming pool slide injuries rose 49%.”
  5. No pushing, shoving, dunking or rough play in or around the pool. Rough housing and water are not a safe mix.
  6. Never bring drinking glasses, glass containers or other glass items around the pool. If they are dropped and broken, glass shards present a serious hazard to bare feet. Use plastic or non-breakable containers instead.
  7. To avoid potential choking hazards, don’t allow eating or chewing gum in the pool. Serve snacks and drinks a safe distance from the pool and make sure children have chewed and swallowed before heading back into the water.
  8. Water and electricity don’t mix. Do not use electric appliances like radios, lights or fans near the pool.
  9. If the weather turns bad, get out of the pool. Clear the pool area immediately and go indoors if there is lightning, thunderstorms or other severe weather conditions.
  10. Discourage breath-holding games. Children often challenge each other to see who can hold their breath underwater the longest. However, the Centers for Disease Control notes that prolonged breath-holding can be deadly. A child may be mistaken for “playing the game” when they are actually in danger of drowning.

Take Proper Safety Precautions

teen girl holding breath in water. Breath-holding games should b discouraged as they can lead to passing out in the water.

Of course, if you have a pool or visit one regularly, it’s a good idea to make sure all your children know how to swim. Swimming lessons are available in many school districts and through your local YMCA.

Make sure all young swimmers wear swim vests and arm floats and use them correctly. Have swim boards and other swim aids available for all inexperienced swimmers. Floating toys and pool noodles can provide extra support. Ensure that poles, rings and other safety equipment are easily accessible in case of an emergency.

Many swim experts recommend the 25-10 rule. If a child can't swim 25 meters (the length of most pools) without stopping, a parent should always be within 10 feet of their child and, preferably, in the water with them.

It's useful to have knowledge of basic first aid, including CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), in case of emergencies. Consider taking a first aid course to learn these skills.

Post your pool rules in a conspicuous spot for all swimmers, including guests. Teach children to respect and follow any posted rules at the pool.

Remember, these rules are not exhaustive. Kids can be inventive. There’s a good chance you may have to add a safety rule or two specific to your family.

By having rules in place and making sure they are followed, everyone can enjoy a safe swimming season.

You may also like: 
5 Tips for Pool Safety 
8 Outstanding Ideas for a Fantastic Pool Party
10 Classic and New Games for Your Kids’ Best-Ever Pool Party