MCTX Sheriff on pool and water safety

By: Montgomery County Sheriff's Office
| Published 07/21/2023


THE WOODLANDS, TX -- The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind you that summer is in full swing, and pool safety is crucial to ensuring that everyone has a safe and enjoyable time. Here are some steps to ensure our children and family are safe when being around or in a pool:

• Swimming is not only fun, it’s a lifesaving skill. Enroll children in swimming lessons; there are many free or reduced-cost options available from your local YMCA, USA Swimming chapter or Parks and Recreation Department.

• Always watch children when they’re in or near water, and never leave them unattended. Designate an official Water Watcher, an adult tasked with supervising children in the water. That should be their only task – they shouldn’t be reading, texting or playing games on their phone. Have a phone close by at all times in case you need to call for help, and if a child is missing, check the pool first.

• Non-swimmers should always wear a personal flotation device approved by the US Coast Guard. DO NOT rely on life jackets alone to protect non-swimmers. Close and careful adult supervision is the best deterrent to drowning.

• Do not play or swim near drains or suction outlets, especially in spas and shallow pools, and never enter a pool or spa that has a loose, broken or missing drain cover. Children’s hair, limbs, jewelry or bathing suits can get stuck in a drain or suction opening. When using a spa, be sure to locate the emergency vacuum shutoff before getting in the water.

• All public pools and spas must have drain grates or covers that meet safety standards to avoid incidents. Powerful suction from a pool or spa drain can even trap an adult.

• Proper fences, barriers, alarms, and covers can be lifesaving devices. A fence of at least four feet in height should surround the pool or spa on all sides and should not be climbable for children. The water should only be accessible through a self-closing, self-latching gate. Teach children to never try to climb over the gate or fence. Install a door alarm from the house to the pool area, and keep pool and spa covers in working order.

• Often, bystanders are the first to aid a drowning victim, so learning CPR can help save a life. Once you’re CPR certified, make sure to keep your certification current. CPR classes are available through many hospitals, community centers, or by contacting the American Red Cross.

• Before heading to the pool with your family, remember to take the Pool Safety Pledge;
I pledge that I will...
Designate a water watcher every single time children in my care are in or near the water.
Make sure my kids know how to swim.
As a parent or guardian, learn CPR.
Always remove portable pool ladders when not in use.
Ensure all permanent pools have a proper fence and gate and safe drain covers.

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