Child Per Adult For Swimming Pool Safety

by Karen
(Bristol, TN)

I am a property manager at a facility owning a pool and was needing to know if there is a law that requires "X" amount of small children per adult.

We have a tenant that brings as many as 6 small children to the pool and we have no life guard. This concerns me for the safety of the children.

Thanks for the question Karen

I believe that when a lifeguard is on duty the rule is 3 sq. feet of water per person and 20 - 25 people per guard As for the no lifeguard on duty, it may be subject to your local laws. I know of one place in Texas that have these rules concerning the NLOD:

And this from an attorney in Florida:

"A hotel doesn’t have the duty to tell you with a depth marker every 6 inches.” Nor does a property manager have the responsibility for an adult’s poor decision making, especially if management exercised reasonable care. And if an adult lets a child through the self-latching gate into the pool area and is aware no lifeguard is on duty, it’s their responsibility to watch the child, not management’s.

The operative words here are "reasonable care" on the part of management. I know for the Y pool we need safety devices such as a Sheppard's hook, floats, working alarms, First-Aid kit, defibrillator, backboards, etc... These need to be in arms
reach and accessible at any given moment.

Perhaps as the property manager you can list the rules pertaining to the number of children per adult. I'm not an attorney, and you may need to go through one if you want to have your specific list of rules posted, but this might get you going in the right direction.

Unfortunately we live in a world of litigation. It seems that everyone is out to sue everyone. I know of a case where a man broke into a house through the bathroom window. As he was stepping in he slipped on the sink and cracked his head on the counter resulting in a concussion. He sued the homeowner for negligence and won the case.

My advice would be to consult your local government agency that handles these kinds of issues. Here in Oregon it's the Dept. Of Health. And ask an attorney that handles negligence.

I'm not personally aware of any state or local laws concerning how many children an adult can supervise when a lifeguard is not on duty. I've posted many signs at the Y pool, retirement homes, and other commercial pools when I had my pool route. They were routinely ignored.

I've found that I can put up as many signs as I want but that doesn't mean they get into people's brains and magically gives them common sense.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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We Know What We Want..A Pool Safety Net, But...

by Melissa

We very much would like to purchase a safety net for our in ground pool.

However, everyone we've talked to in Indiana has no idea what we're talking about and keeps trying to sell us a mesh cover or a leaf cover.

Do you know of ANY company who has the nets that would service / install in Indiana ?

Thanks for the question Melissa

Sorry but I don't know of any businesses in Indiana that you could call but I do have some names of businesses that you can contact to see if you can order from them. They are:

All Safe Pool Fences and Covers (they're located in CA and AZ)

Katchakid Pool Safety Nets

The Water Warden

I would try those first and see what you can get. It's also hard to believe that a pool store has no idea what a pool safety net is or how to get one.

I've been doing this since 1999 and I'm always surprised at these kinds of things, but I shouldn't be this late in the game.

Good luck and have a great Summer.


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Can My Grandchildren Use A Life Jacket?..Swimming Safety

by Kat
(Sterling Heights, mi)

I was told to remove my life vest from my 4 year old and 2 year old grandchild while they were in the public pool because they said it could clog up their filter system.

Neither one can swim and the pool is 3 to 5 feet deep. Any suggestions

Thanks for your question Kat

If you've gone through this site, especially this link about swimming safety:

Swimming Safety

You know I'm a big proponent of safety around swimming pools. The lifeguards at the Y know I'm the "letter of the law" guy when it comes to this. Each guard is personally trained by me about the importance of safety and are given Level 1, 2, or 3 training, depending on their proficiency. They are also given a 54 question test (prepared by me) that they must pass in order to guard and be on the deck.

That being said, I would ask what kind of material are the life jackets made out of? If they are a regulation Type 2 or 3 Coast Guard certified PDF (personal safety device) made from nylon and foam, or a vinyl coated closed-cell foam jacket, (the cool-looking shiny ones that you might see on a water skier) and in good repair without any tears or rips, there is absolutely positively no way on this Earth this life jacket can clog any filter.

The only material that I'm aware of that will clog swimming pool filters is cotton, i.e. T-shirts, shorts, underwear, etc...If the jackets are made of cotton, then the person saying you can't swim may have a point.

If you wear regulation swimwear made from nylon, Lycra, or spandex and your grand-children's life jackets are made from the same or similar material, and the public pool still won't allow you to swim, I'd say report whomever to the manager, city, or state. If it's a public pool then the Department of Health would be the office to reach.

Hope this helps, good luck, and have a great and safe Summer


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