The Ultimate Swimming Safety Guide

Swimming has long been a favorite recreational activity of people young and old. Kids especially love playing in pools and lakes, as well as at the beach. However, there are some serious health and safety risks associated with swimming that you should be aware of and know how to avoid. The following resources will help you make sure that every swimming outing is both fun and safe for the entire family.

Swimming Safety Sites

These websites are dedicated entirely to swimming safety and injury prevention. They are go-to destinations for general rules, teaching resources, news and statistics, and links to safety training opportunities. These sites can also provide you with excellent information to use for reports, research papers, and in your own publications.

American Red Cross Swimming Safety — Try this page for statistics, quizzes, guides, and other resources to help you educate yourself and others in safe swimming practices. You can also get connected to safety training courses and more.

Foundation for Aquatic Injury Prevention — Visit this site for information about preventing water-related injuries and deaths. There are downloadable teaching materials, facts and statistics, access to classes, and even advocacy resources if you or someone you know is the victim of an aquatic injury.

NSPF Resource Page — Turn to the National Swimming Pool Foundation to find news articles about pool safety, legislation involving pool safety, and to gain access to an aquatic incident database.

BSA Aquatic Safety Page — You’ll find a lot of valuable information and advice on this publication by the Boy Scouts of America. While this guide was designed to outline the organization’s water safety practices, it provides plenty of helpful and potentially lifesaving information for anyone.

Recreational Water Safety

Each recreational swimming or water-related activity comes with its own unique set of challenges and risks. It’s important not to apply general swimming safety rules without also implementing activity-specific safety guidelines. Use the resources below to help you find the information you need to enjoy the beach, lakes and rivers, boating, and even SCUBA diving as safely as possible.

Red Cross Beach Safety Page — Before you hit the beach, consult this page for everything you need to know about staying safe around and in the ocean. From sunscreen to shark danger, you’ll find plenty of potentially lifesaving information here.

NOAA Beach Safety Page — If you are a frequent beach-goer, remember this page on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website. You can keep tabs on real-time beach and water conditions, tide tables, weather warnings, and more.

Swimming in Lakes, Rivers, and Streams — This American Red Cross publication addresses the risks connected to swimming in these bodies of water, along with the measures you should take to keep yourself and your family safe.

Boating Safety — Learn the safety rules for boating before you go. This site, by The Sea Tow Foundation, provides everything you should know about boating safely and responsibly. You can even help out the nonprofit group’s cause by hosting a lifejacket loaner stand, and much more.

SCUBA Diving Safety — Check this page if you plan to go SCUBA diving. Learn the dangers and risks, and how to most effectively prevent them. There are also links to additional safety resources for SCUBA divers.

Swimming Health Hazards

Drowning, hypothermia, and recreational accidents are not the only risks associated with swimming. There are also environmental hazards that can pose great risk to your health if proper preventative measures are not followed. To find out more about water-related illnesses and other potential safety and health problems that can accompany swimming, consult the following sites and pages.

CDC Pool and Hot Tub Safety Page — Would you know what to do if you found a dead rodent in your pool? How about letting kids in diapers use your pool or hot tub? Get solid answers for these and other questions here.

Healthy Water: Swimming — This page, also from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), outlines the potential risks of swimming pools in terms of waterborne pathogens and related illnesses.

Avoiding Water Illnesses — Here you’ll find information about how to protect yourself from contracting a water-related illness. You can click the links in the sidebar to learn more about each type of known water-related illness.

Recreational Water Illnesses — If you want a little more in-depth understanding of how water illnesses work – such as why some of them cannot be killed with chlorine – go here. This comprehensive article provides extensive information about the subject.

Water Safety for Kids

Let kids learn about water safety using these high quality sites and pages. Many include activities and games to help solidify the materials covered. By getting your kids involved with the research, water safety will be more real to them and they’ll be proud to demonstrate their knowledge when they are out on the water. Water Safety — Facts about water safety, drowning statistics, tips for safe swimming and boating, and lots more can be found on this page from

Water Safety for Kids — This multi-page article from includes water safety tips for all ages and situations. Learn about water safety for infants, keeping your family safe at water parks, beach safety rules, and more.

Pool Safety Videos and Activities — Look here for high quality pool safety videos and activities for kids. Help animated cats “Splish” and “Splash” make good safety choices at the pool, or see who can spot the safety hazards in the “Pool Safely” activity.

Danger Rangers Water Safety — This fun page has swimming safety tips for kids, along with songs, videos, games, and lots more. Kids will forget that they’re learning something with these engaging activities.

Resources For Pool Operators

Certified Pool Operators carry a lot of weight on their shoulders. They are responsible for making sure that a community pool is safe and for minimizing the risks associated with its use. Not knowing how to properly read and administer chemicals, or not fully understanding the importance of using certain safety equipment could place people at serious risk of injury and even death. If you will be in charge of a pool that will be used by multiple people, or you just want your own pool run to professional health and safety standards, these sites and pages are for you. Find information on becoming certified, get free safety publications and materials, and keep up on industry news.

What is the CPO Training Program? — Learn more about the Certified Pool Operator training program through the National Swimming Pool Foundation and find out where you can sign up for one in your area.

Swimming Safety Posters — One of the challenges of running a pool or hot tub is making sure that people observe health-related rules. On this page, you’ll find lots of pamphlets, posters, and other publications that you can print out and hang up to remind your guests of the importance of following disease prevention protocols.

CPSC Pool Safely — This page, from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, has a lot of great resources for pool and spa operators, personal pool owners, and anyone concerned about water safety. There are statistics, media, and even the tragic stories of children who have been victims of swimming accidents.

ASPS Pool Safety — The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals provides these informative pages and anyone who will be using a pool or hot tub – especially with children – should read through them. Learn how to establish “layers of protection” to prevent swimming-related injuries and deaths.