Pool safety

Many of us can’t wait to take our first dip into a pool when we go on holiday. But before you take the plunge here are some safety tips to remind yourself and travelling companions of particularly if you have children with you.

  • Children should be supervised at all times in and around the pool (see below for more tips on water safety with children).
  • Make sure you read the pool rules.
  • Check the depth of the water before getting in and know where the deep and shallow sections of the pool are.
  • Diving is often not allowed but if it is make sure the water is at least 1.5 metres deep.
  • Don’t use the pool when it’s dark or closed.
  • Know how and where to get help in the event of an emergency. Remember most pools won’t have a lifeguard.
  • Don’t swim immediately after eating.
  • Don’t swim if you have an upset stomach.
  • If there are poolside showers it’s worth using them before and after you get in the water to protect your skin from chlorine and other pool chemicals, for hygiene reasons and to keep the pool clean.
  • Dry your ears well after swimming– trapped water can cause ear infections
  • If there are sun loungers and deck chairs round the pool it’s worth checking these are properly set up before you use them as people quite commonly have accidents on these.

And obviously …

  • Don’t jump off poolside furniture into the water.
  • Don’t run around the pool as it will be slippery.
  • Stay out of the water if you’ve been drinking alcohol.


Children should always be supervised in and around pools. If you’re travelling with other adults you could share this responsibility. But make sure you designate an adult to do this at any given time. This way you’ll always know who is responsible for the children and you’ll be able to relax.

ABTA has produced a short video on keeping children safe in pools.

Also remember to:

  • make sure children know where the water is deep.
  • remind them of the pool rules such as not running around the pool or pushing each other in.
  • make sure they go to the loo before getting in the water and have regular toilet breaks throughout the day.
  • apply sun cream regularly and remind children to wear sun hats when appropriate. For more sun safety tips see our guide.
  • ensure children wear appropriate swimwear. Swimming in nappies or nude is not allowed in public pools and it’s not a good idea in private pools either for hygiene reasons.

Published on 07/06/18

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