Since pool season is in full swing, I thought it would be appropriate to run this column again.



My children and their friends have been using the pool on a regular basis now that the warmer weather is here. I hear about so many pool related accidents and I was wondering if you could offer any suggestions on pool safety.



According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), nationally, drowning is a leading cause of death to children under five. Many of these accidents occur in residential pools. The key to preventing these tragedies is to have layers of protection. This includes placing barriers around your pool to prevent access, using pool alarms, closely supervising your child and being prepared in case of an emergency. To help ensure a safe and enjoyable summer, the Brockton Police Department offers some pool safety tips from the CPSC at

  • Never leave a child unattended in or near a pool or spa and always watch your children closely around all bodies of water. Designate a Water Watcher to supervise children in the pool or spa. This person should not be reading, texting, using a smart phone or be otherwise distracted. Adults can take turns being a Water Watcher.

  • Teach children basic water safety tips.

  • Fences and walls should be at least 4 feet high and installed completely around the pool. Fence gates should be self-closing and self-latching. The latch should be out of a small child’s reach.

  • If your house forms one side of the barrier to the pool, then doors leading from the house to the pool should be protected with alarms that produce a sound when a door is unexpectedly opened.

  • A power safety cover, a motor-powered barrier that can be placed over the water area, can be used when the pool is not in use.

  • Keep rescue equipment by the pool and be sure a portable phone is poolside with emergency numbers posted. Knowing first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be a lifesaver.

  • For above-ground pools, steps and ladders to the pool should be secured and locked or removed when the pool is not in use.

  • If a child is missing, ALWAYS look in the pool first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.

  • Pool alarms can be used as an added precaution. Underwater pool alarms generally perform better and can be used in conjunction with pool covers. CPSC advises that consumers use remote alarm receivers so the alarm can be heard inside the house or in other places away from the pool area.

  • PARENTS AND GUARDIANS…ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT A DROWNING. Watch your child closely at all times. Make sure that doors leading to the pool area are closed and locked. Young children can quickly slip away and get into the pool if left unattended.

Diving injuries can result in quadriplegia, paralysis below the neck, to divers who hit the bottom or side of a swimming pool, according to CPSC. Divers should observe the following precautions:

  • Never dive into above-ground pools. They are too shallow.

  • Don’t dive from the side of an in-ground pool. Enter the water feet first.

  • Dive only from the end of the diving board and not from the sides.

  • Dive with your hands in front of you and always steer up immediately upon entering the water to avoid hitting the bottom or sides of the pool.

  • Don’t dive if you have been using alcohol or drugs because your reaction time may be too slow.

  • Improper use of pool slides presents the same danger as improper diving techniques. Never slide down head first – slide down feet first only.

Anyone with questions for the Chief’s Column may submit them by mail to the Brockton Police Department, 7 Commercial St, Brockton, MA 02302. You may also email your questions or comments to Please include an appropriate subject line, as I do not open suspicious email for obvious reasons.

Brenda I. Pérez

Chief of Police