Human Services

Summer Water Safety





  Keep your family safe this summer and enjoy the fun that water activities bring.   
                                 Stay Safe in the Water!




For Parents and Families

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the 6th leading cause of unintentional injury death for people of all ages, and the 2nd leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14 years. Here are the top 10 water safety tips to stay safe in the water – public and private pools, portable pools, and open bodies of water.

Top 10 General Water Safety Tips

  1. Learn how to swim. Teach your children how to swim. Use U.S. Coastguard-approved life jackets for children and inexperienced swimmers.
  1. Keep children within reach and use active supervision.
  2. Remember that alcohol and swimming do not mix.
  3. Swim only in appropriate and safe areas. Avoid areas with fast currents, places for entanglement, and areas with unexpected depth changes.
  4. Dive only in areas safe for diving, where the bottom is visible, and deeper than 9 feet
  5. Stop swimming at the first sight of bad weather.
  6. Know how and when to call 9-1-1.            
  7. Sign up for an American Red Cross water safety, First Aid, and CPR class.
  8. Stay away from main drains in pools. Avoid loose, dangling personal items, hair, and clothing during swimming to prevent getting caught or tangled.
  9. Avoid swallowing water.


Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs)
RWIs are caused by germs spread through contaminated water in swimming pools, water parks, water play areas, hot tubs, interactive water fountains, and open bodies of water (e.g., oceans, lakes, and rivers). RWIs include a variety of infections including gastrointestinal, skin, respiratory, and eye infections. The most common RWI is diarrhea. Learn the basic facts of RWIs to protect yourself and your family and help to prevent the spread of germs.


American Red Cross
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Pool Safely
Splash Zone


For Commercial Pool Operators                                                                                                                                  

Steps to ensure pool safety

  • Ensure children are always accompanied and supervised by an adult
  • Ensure the pool or spa drain cover is not broken, missing, or in poor repair
  • Never allow bathers to play with or swim next to a drain cover


Drain Cover Recall
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a voluntary recall of approximately 1 million pool and in-ground spa drain covers. The recalled drain covers were sold after December 18, 2008 and will either have the VGB 2008 or ASME logo. The pools and spas subject to this recall include: all wading/kiddie pools (maximum depth of 18-24 inches and intended specifically for use by small children); all in-ground spa pools (permanent, non-factory built hydrotherapy unit); and single drain pools.




Please note: CPSC states that it is the responsibility of the property owner/owner to eliminate current safety risk. CPSC recommends that property owners and operators contact the drain cover manufacturer or pool or drain cover professional to assess the situation and assist with replacement of recalled drain covers or retrofit if necessary. For additional information, contact the Drain Cover Recall Hotline toll-free at (866) 478-3521 any time or visit the Drain Cover recall website at


A Health License is required for new swimming pools or whenever there is a change of ownership and the license must be renewed annually. Click here for application.

Last Modified: May 31, 2012
2100 Clarendon Blvd. Arlington, VA 22201 Tel: 703-228-3000 TTY: 703-228-4611