Pool safety is crucial to preventing accidental drownings. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 3,600 people drowned in 2005. More than 25 percent were children under the age of 14.
Pool safety has two major components: ensuring the safety of the pool area itself and monitoring the swimmers who are using it. Protective devices such as drain covers, locked fences and powered pool covers can help, as can lifeguard certification and CPR training.
Common pool rules include proper swim attire and supervision of children. Other rules forbid roughhousing and diving (other than in pools designed specifically for diving.) Public pools commonly forbid the use of alcohol and the presence of glass containers near the pool area.
Much pool safety focuses on children, but it is important for adults as well. According to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, younger people in general have better self-reported swimming ability than older people.
Strong swimmers are safer in a pool, but no one should ever swim alone. Though swimming often is part of recreation and vacation, alcohol and swimming do not mix; alcohol affects balance and response time.