Pool Safety


I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Lara McKenzie, principal investigator at Nationwide’s Childrens Hospital Center for Injury and Research Policy (CIRP) and developer of the Make Safe Happen app. With summer approaching, Dr. McKenzie had some expert advice to offer on keeping kids safe around pools.

Here are some basic tips. Check out for more on pool safety and other tips to keep kids safe.

  • Sign your children up for swimming lessons. Formal lessons can help reduce the risk of drowning, especially for kids ages 1 to 4.
  • Make sure your child knows the basics. Everyone should learn how to float and tread water, and should also know how to figure out how deep the water is.
  • Toys like floaties, water wings, and noodles are not designed to keep kids safe. No flotation device should be used as a substitute for adult supervision.
  • Get a good life jacket. Use one approved by the U.S. Coast Guard for added protection.
  • Drowning can happen quickly and quietly so stepping away for towels or to check your phone for even 1 or 2 minutes is not safe.
  • Remember to bring everything you need, like towels and sunscreen, outside before anybody gets in the pool.
  • There is no substitute for supervision. If children are swimming, an adult should be present. Stay within arm’s reach of young swimmers.
  • Actively watch children without distraction. Be attentive and take a break from multitasking and checking your phone.