Global public health organization urges pool owners to follow these five steps to prevent drowning and injury

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Last year, more than 200 children ages 1-14 drowned in a swimming pool or spa, and three out of four were under the age of 5.1 To prevent injuries at your pool or spa this summer, follow these five simple tips from public health organization NSF International. You can also view these tips as an infographic.

  1. Use and store chemicals properly
    Mishandling of pool chemicals causes 4,000 emergency room visits each year.2 Be sure to: replace pool chemicals past their expiration dates, read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and most importantly, store chemicals out of reach of children.

  2. Don’t forget about that pool/spa cover
    Within 10-20 seconds, a partially removed pool/spa cover could return to it's original position, hiding someone underneath. Be sure to: remove covers completely before using a pool or spa and drain any standing water from the cover surface, especially after rain.

  3. Pay attention to drain covers
    Between 2008 and 2012, 39 people were trapped in pool/spa drains including 2 children who died. Don’t let anyone play on or near drains and be sure to: purchase drain covers that meet current Pool & Spa Safety Act requirements, ensure they are properly installed and most importantly, know where the emergency shut-off switch is located and how to use it.

  4. Use pool alarms
    Most young children who drown in pools were out of sight less than five minutes.  In addition to a fence, consider a certified pool alarm such as those worn on a child’s wrist that alerts parents if they fall into the water, a surface wave sensor that floats on the water surface or a sub-surface disturbance sensor mounted to the pool wall.

  5. Always supervise kids using the pool
    Be sure to establish and enforce rules for pool and spa use, don’t allow kids to run or play games near the pool, keep toys, particularly wheeled toys, away from the pool and make sure you know if anyone using your pool cannot swim.

“Whether you swim at home or use a public pool, it’s important to keep in mind that pools can pose a hazard if they aren’t properly used or maintained. Follow these five tips to prevent drowning and injury at your pool this summer,” said Cheryl Luptowski, Public Information Officer for NSF International.

Since the 1960s, NSF International has been working with pool and spa owners and users who are concerned about safety. Whether you are looking for tips to help make pool and spa use more enjoyable and safe or need help selecting the right equipment, NSF can help. Visit us at nsf.org/consumer or contact NSF’s Consumer Affairs Office at  info@nsf.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: To schedule an interview with an NSF International public health and safety expert, contact Greta Houlahan at media@nsf.org or 734-913-5723.

About NSF International: NSF International is a global independent public health and safety organization that helps protect consumers by certifying products and writing standards for food, water, dietary supplements and consumer goods to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment. Operating in more than 150 countries, NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment. NSF tests and certifies pool and spa components (e.g. pumps, drain covers, filters, etc.) and has developed an American National Standard that specifies pool equipment requirements.


1 Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission

2 Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control