Pool safety 101

Girl jumping into a swimming pool

Summer is in full swing! What better way to cool off than to invite some friends over and take a dip in the pool? Sounds fun, but owning a pool also comes with extra risks. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 397 children younger than age 15 fatally drown in pools and spas each year. Additionally, from 2018 through 2020, an estimated average of 6,200 children younger than 15 years old were reportedly treated in hospital emergency rooms for nonfatal drowning injuries in pools or spas.* As a home owner, you may be responsible for the safety of anyone on your property – whether they have your permission to be there or not. For example, if someone slips and falls, you could be liable for their medical expenses — or worse, they could sue you.

Follow the law

Check to see if there are any local or state laws that apply to swimming pools. For example, most cities (and insurance companies) require a fence around the pool with a self-latching, self-closing gate.

Learn to swim and never swim alone

Not only does swimming have health benefits, it can make you more comfortable around other water sources as well. Swimming classes can be offered at your local pool, gym or community center. Also, when swimming, have a friend with you in case there is an emergency.

Supervise children closely

A tragedy can happen in a matter of minutes – the time it takes to run inside and grab the sunscreen. Designate a responsible adult as the official “water watcher” to supervise children in and around the water at all times.

Learn CPR

Every second during an emergency counts and knowing how to perform CPR can save lives. CPR classes are available through many hospitals or the American Red Cross.

Establish rules of the pool

You expect your students to follow the classroom rules; pool rules are no different. Before anyone enters the pool, make sure they’re aware of the rules.

Be prepared

It’s important you’re prepared to handle anything and everything. Make sure you have essentials on hand, including a charged cell phone, first aid kit, flotation devices and a pair of scissors to cut hair, clothing or a pool cover if necessary.

Stay informed

You can never be too informed on pool safety. It could save a life one day. For more information on pool safety, check out the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website.

Even when you’re prepared, accidents can happen. Liability coverage often comes with most Homeowners policies, but will it be enough if someone gets hurt in or around your pool? You may want to consider increasing your coverage or adding a personal umbrella policy. Check with your Horace Mann representative to learn more.


*Yang, Ted. (2021). Pool or Spa Submersion: Estimated Nonfatal Drowning Injuries and Reported Drownings, 2021 Report. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Horace Mann Insurance Company and its affiliates underwrite Horace Mann home insurance. The benefits and discounts listed are only general descriptions of coverage and do not constitute a statement of contract. Additional terms and conditions, as described in the policy, must be met for the coverage to be provided. Not all benefits available in all states.