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Learn the triple defense for fun but perilous place: the pool

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Girl in swimming pool wearing goggles

It's probably not surprising the majority of child drownings are in swimming pools. So it's best for parents and caregivers to use a triple defense with three layers of protection: supervision, barriers and emergency preparedness.


When a child is around water, there must be an adult nearby paying close attention. When a young child is in a pool — whether public or private — an adult should be within arm’s reach. Don’t assume someone else is watching your child at a public pool.

If it's a social situation with many adults and children, designate a "water watcher" to monitor the children.

Teach your children never to go near or in water without an adult present.


A child should never be able to get into a pool area alone. Florida law requires pools built after 2000 to include one of the following features:

  • Fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate
  • Alarms on all doors and windows leading to the pool
  • Doors with a self-closing, self-latching device no lower than 54 inches above the floor

The Florida Department of Health recommends using a combination of such barriers. A pool cover could act as a barrier, but it should be fitted for the pool and not just a canvas cover.

Ensure home pools use a proper drain cover to prevent long hair, loose clothing or body parts from getting trapped. It is especially important to check drain covers made before 2008 to ensure they comply with federal safety laws.


It’s important to know CPR. CPR Florida and American Red Cross offer classes.


Drowning Prevention Coalition of Palm Beach County
Safe Kids Worldwide
Florida Department of Health

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