Swimming Pool Rules For Health And Safety

Even though they sometimes seem restrictive, swimming pool rules exist for a reason. They ensure the health and safety of all pool visitors.

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

1) Always follow the lifeguard’s directions. He/she knows better (really).

2) Always follow your local pool’s rules.

3) Don’t run over the pool deck, walk instead.

Children often like to run and are at a greater risk of breaking a limb if slipping on the wet ground.

4) Don’t dive without proper supervision by an experienced swimmer or coach.

Diving should always occur at the deep end of the pool, not in the shallow end or somewhere in between.

It isn’t uncommon for children to experience head injuries or broken necks because they overestimate the depth of the water, and crash head-first into the ground.

5) Avoid going to the pool if you have the flu, open wounds or warts.

You don’t want to contaminate other swimming pool customers.

6) Wear a swim cap over your hair.

First of all, it protects your hair from chlorine and other pool chemicals.

Second, it avoids those wooly hair aggregates at the bottom of the pool, and it also keeps the pool’s filters clean.

7) Only wear your swimsuit at the pool. Don’t go to the pool with a suit or shorts you have worn all day.

8) Don’t enter the pool while being dirty. Always shower off first. The pool is not your bathtub.

9) If you go to the pool with a toddler, make sure that it wears waterproof swim diapers.

10) Parents should make sure that their children (and themselves) don’t cross lanes or play in the lanes where people are swimming.

It can be quite frustrating for a swimmer to have to swim around walking or standing people.

11) Parents should make sure that their children (or themselves) don’t sit on the swimming pool lane dividers, as this can be quite disturbing for lap swimmers.

12) Avoid swimming underwater while holding your breath, especially after hyperventilating.

This can lead to shallow water blackout and drowning.

13) Don’t “borrow” swimming equipment lying around on the pool wall and that looks like it has been abandoned.

Someone brought it there and will most likely need it soon.

USA: State by State Public Pool Laws

You can find the state by state public pool laws here (courtesy of Swimtown Pools).

Private Swimming Pool Rules

If you own a private swimming pool, you also have to be careful because it only takes a few moments for a child to drown.

So additional precautions should be taken at those private pools:

1) As a pool owner, you should be trained in CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation).

2) Never let children swim without supervision, even only for a few moments.

3) As written above, don’t allow the children to dive from the wall into the pool without proper supervision.

Don’t allow them to dive off into the shallow end either.

Diving boards and other structures can also be dangerous if improperly used.

4) When not being used, a private swimming pool should be appropriately fenced and covered.

An alarm should also be installed which detects intrusion in the fenced-off area or disturbance of the water.

Additional Tips

Your swimming pool builder/manufacturer has to deal with pool safety on a regular basis and should therefore also be able to give you good advice on how to keep your pool safe.

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16 thoughts on “Swimming Pool Rules For Health And Safety”

    1. Avatar

      No, this act is frowned in the swimming community.

      Wearing clean underwear is a universal saying that ‘I will most likely poop in the pool, these clean underwear is like a diaper that will catch most of the poop’.


  1. Avatar
    Aaron A Simons

    Can a small public pool with a diving board operate with no lifeguards or one in Wisconsin?

    1. Christophe

      No to be handled differently than if the person does it in another public space I guess. Depends on if it’s a toddler/child, if it was intentional or not, etc.

  2. Avatar
    Erica Bennett-Hynes

    Public swimming pool, adult swimmers at different speeds, is it legal for a man using goggles to swim under women saying he just wanted to get past?

    1. Christophe

      Hi Erica,

      In a general sense, I don’t think this is something that is against common rules, but you’d have to check this with your local pool.

      I can see children or teenagers doing this while playing for example.

      However, an adult swimming under another adult just to get past is, in my opinion, a display of poor swimming etiquette.

      The other person could easily be startled, especially if he or she is a beginner or not that confident in the water.

      I can also see someone getting hit or kicked by accident with such maneuvers.

  3. Avatar

    What are some ways to avoid kids from nearly drowning in a hotel pool where I work because adults are watching them properly.

  4. Avatar
    Marcia Montgomery

    I live in a community which has a pool as an amenity. Are we required to follow state regulations for diapers? If so what are the regulations for diapers and swim diapers?

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