Pool Safety Tips: Adults

To learn more about how to take swimming precautions and how to help those in emergency situations, contact your local American Red Cross or for free water safety booklets, call the NSPSC at (800) 323-3996.


  • Do not chew gum or eat while you swim; you could easily choke.
  • Never drink alcohol and swim.
  • Use common sense about swimming after eating. In general, you do not have to wait an hour after eating before you may safely swim. However, if you have had a large meal, it is wise to let digestion get started before doing strenuous activity such as swimming.

In Case of Emergency

  • If you come upon a person in an emergency, remember Check, Call, Care: Check the scene to ensure it's safe and Check the victim, Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number, and Care for the person until help arrives.
  • Take an American Red Cross CPR and first aid class.

Know Your Limits

  • Watch out for the "dangerous too's"—too tired, too cold, too much sun, and too much strenuous activity.
  • Stay out of the water when overheated.
  • Know your swimming limits and stay within them. Don't try to keep up with a stronger skilled swimmer or encourage others to keep up with you. Keep an eye on weaker swimmers—if they appear tired, encourage them to rest on land.
  • Obey "No Diving" signs, which always indicate the area is unsafe for head-first entries. Always check the depth of the water before you dive. A general rule is to enter feet first into water rather than head-first if you don't know the depth. In addition, learn the correct way to dive from a qualified instructor.
  • Know local weather conditions and prepare for electrical storms. Because water conducts electricity, it is wise to stop swimming as soon as you see or hear a storm.