• Learn how to swim. The city’s Department of Parks & Recreation offers free lessons to both children and adults. The courses take place in three summer sessions throughout July and August and are available on a first-come, first-served basis at four Queens pools — Astoria, Fort Totten, Fisher and Liberty. Registration for sessions two and three are still open.
• Use of the pool should always be supervised by an adult who knows pool rules and emergency procedures and who can swim.
• The area should have a secure fence surrounding the pool with childproof locks to guard against unsupervised swimming. A fence is necessary even if the pool is located directly outside of patio doors. The gates should be locked when no adult is present.
• Establish pool rules and post them near the pool. Don’t allow running or horseplay around the pool. Be careful with inflatable toys that may deflate unexpectedly. Use only unbreakable containers in the pool area.
• Take benches and chairs away from the pool area when finished swimming and remove toys from the pool to discourage children from climbing over the fence and back in to retrieve them.
• Be prepared for emergencies. Have a long pole, a ring buoy with a throwing line and a first aid kit nearby. Keep emergency phone numbers handy. Get training in lifesaving, first aid and CPR.
— Melissa Chan and YMCA of Greater New York