This year, hundreds of children will drown in American pools. Many of these pools will have lifeguards present. (Part of the problem is that drownings in real life look nothing like they do on TV.)

The sad truth is that almost all of these incidents can be avoided — but that would require each of us to step up and demand a culture of safety in our pools.

Over the years, we’ve investigated dozens of non-swimmer drowning injuries at our customers’ pools. In doing so, we’ve learned more than we ever wanted to know about what can go wrong in the water.

We’ve also learned, however, how drownings can be prevented. Here are a few key lessons:

  • Keep non-swimmers in the shallow end, and within arm's reach of an adult.
  • Promote a culture of safety at pools with multiple layers of protection — including testing all pool users and rating them according to swimming ability.
  • Ensure all non-swimmers wear properly fitted, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. 
These measures should be standard practice at all guarded pools. We look forward to a day when no parents get a call to say their child’s life was lost in the pool.

pool safety infographic

The Redwoods Group are experts in child safety, offering a continuum of services to help child-serving organizations be the best they can be. Services include subscriptions to training and guidance, consulting and insuring services. The Redwoods Group is a certified B Corporation. 

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