Swimming pool rules exist to ensure the health and safety of every pool visitor. Even though such rules can sometimes seem restrictive, they are always there for a good reason.

Small girl looking at the bottom of the pool besides a "no diving" sign

Swimming pool rules guarantee everyone’s comfort and security.
Image courtesy of Aaron Courter

Public Swimming Pool Rules

  • Always follow the lifeguard’s directions. He/she knows better (really).
  • Always follow the local pool rules.
  • Walk along the sides of the pool, don’t run. In particular, children often run and are at a greater risk of breaking a limb, slipping on the wet ground.
  • Don’t dive without proper supervision by an experienced swimmer or coach. Diving should always be done in the deep end of the pool, not in the shallow end or somewhere in between. It often happens that children endure head injuries or broken necks because they overestimate the depth of the water and crash head-first into the ground.
  • Avoid to go to the pool if you have the flu, open wounds or warts. You don’t want to contaminate other swimming pool visitors.
  • Wear a swim cap if you (still) have hair. This avoids that the pool’s filters become clogged or that people cut themselves on a hair when they dive off from a starting block. As a kid I was always told that a hair swimming on the water surface could cut like a knife if you had the bad luck to slide on it with enough speed while diving from the starting blocks.
  • Only wear your swim suit at the pool. Don’t go to the pool with a suit or shorts that you have worn all day.
  • Don’t enter the pool being dirty. Always shower off first. The pool is not your bathtub.
  • If you go to the pool with a toddler, make sure that it wears waterproof swim diapers.
  • Parents should make sure that their children (or themselves) don’t cross lanes or play in the lanes were people are swimming, because it is frustrating for swimmers if they have to zig-zag to avoid non-swimmers.
  • Parents should make sure that their children (or themselves) don’t sit on the swimming pool dividers, as this will disturb lap swimmers.
  • Avoid swimming underwater while holding your breath, especially after hyperventilating. This can lead to shallow water blackout and drowning.
  • Don’t “borrow” swimming equipment that is sitting at the end of the lane, even if it seems nobody is using it. The swimmer that left it there will most likely need it soon.

Additional Information

Private Swimming Pool Rules

If you do own a private swimming pool, you should be especially careful because it only takes a few moments for a child to drown. So additional precautions should be observed in private pools:

  • As a pool owner, you should be trained in CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation).
  • Never let children swim without supervision, even only for a few moments.
  • As written above, don’t allow the children to dive in the shallow end of the pool or without proper supervision. Diving boards and other structures are especially dangerous.
  • When not used, a private swimming pool should be properly fenced and covered. Additionally, alarms should be installed that detect when the fence gate is opened or the water is disturbed without authorization.

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