Top tips for water safety

Contemporary PEDS JournalJuly 2024
Volume 40
Issue 06

Water safety tips from the CDC including drowning prevention, pool chemical injury prevention, and keeping swimmers safe.

Top tips for water safety | Image Credit: © Iuliia Sokolovska - © Iuliia Sokolovska -

Top tips for water safety | Image Credit: © Iuliia Sokolovska - © Iuliia Sokolovska -

The following reminders and tips are from the CDC’s “Guidelines for Keeping Your Pool Safe and Healthy.” From keeping swimmers health, to pool chemical recommendations, and drowning prevention tips, this list can serve as a tear-out for families to reference throughout the summer season.

According to the CDC, more children aged 1 to 4 years die from drowning than any other cause.

Tips to prevent drowning:

  • Ensure everyone has basic swimming and water safety skills and continually provide close supervision to swimmers.
  • Utilize life jackets approved by the U.S. Coast Guard as specified.
  • Maintain constant and close supervision of swimmers.
  • Acquire the skills to identify and assist a swimmer in distress and perform CPR.
  • Prevent children from accessing your backyard pool without supervision.
  • Install a four-sided fence that completely encloses the pool and separates it from the house, featuring self-closing and self-latching gates.

The CDC noted that pool chemical injuries make up approximately 4500 emergency department visits annually in the United States, with over one-third occurring in children or teenagers. Pool chemicals are also the first defense against germs that can result in swimming-related illnesses, making recommended levels for chlorine or bromine very important to maintain.

  • Tips to prevent pool chemical injuries:
  • Read and follow all directions on product labels.
  • Wear safety equipment—such as masks, gloves, and goggles—when handling chemicals.
  • Keep chemicals secure and away from children and pets.

Recommendations to kill germs in the pool:

  • Check chlorine, bromine, and pH levels at least twice per day and more so if the pool is used heavily.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for chlorine and bromine levels.
  • 1 to 4 parts per million (ppm) is the typical range for chlorine.
  • 3 to 8 ppm is the typical range for promine
  • 7.0- to 7.8 is the typical pH range.

The CDC recommends the following to keep swimmers safe:

  • Do not swim if you have diarrhea.
  • Before getting into the water, shower for at least 1 minute to remove dirt or anything else on the body.
  • Avoid swallowing water.
  • Avoid urinating or defecating in the water.
  • For babies that will be in the pool, check diapers every hour and change diapers away from the pool to avoid the spread of germs via the water.
  • Frequently take children on bathroom breaks.
  • To prevent swimmer’s ear, use a towel to dry ears thoroughly.


Guidelines for keeping your pool safe and healthy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. May 15, 2024. Accessed June 13, 2024.

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