10 Water Safety and Pool Tips for the New York City Mom

boy at pool
Photo cred: Edneil Jocusol

The heat is on here in New York City, and one thing city kids love to do during the summer is to hit the pool. Whether swimming at the home pool or visiting your local pool – safety rules are always a must for a family. Here are 10 swim safety tips for parents!

Psst…If you are looking at where to send your kiddos for the summer to learn some basic swimming skills, check out NYC Parks’ Free Learn to Swim Program.

boy in pool

5 Top Tips About Swimming Safety From Safe Kids Worldwide

  • Watch kids when they are in or around water, without being distracted.


  • Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult. Make sure older children swim with a partner every time.


  • Teach children how to swim. Every child is different, so enroll children in swim lessons when they are ready. Consider their age, development and how often they are around water when deciding if they are ready for swim lessons.


  • Make sure kids learn these five water survival skills and that they are able to:
    1. Step or jump into water over their heads and return to the surface.
    2. Float or tread water for one minute.
    3. Turn around in a full circle and find an exit.
    4. Swim 25 yards to exit the water.
    5. Exit the water. If in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder.


  • Teach children that swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool. They need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.


  • Know what to do in an emergency. Learning CPR and basic water rescue skills may help you save a child’s life.

5 Tips From a Mom Who Swims at the City Pool

My kids love the park pools but any parent who visits our city pools know it is pure chaos. In the past, I would stay with the toddler in the kiddie area while my oldest swam with the more experienced swimmers, but the anxiety of managing both kids made me implement some city pool guidelines. Here are my top 5!

  • The kids swim with mom even if it is the kiddie pool.


  • Older kids do not swim off with a friend to the deep end.


  • We do not swim near the large rowdy pack of teenagers.


  • I dress my kids in bright swim gear, I lock into the color they are wearing so I can keep sight of them in the sea of kids that is the city pool.


  • If possible, we visit the pool first thing when it opens and is more manageable.


For more tips on swim safety, go to Safe Kids Worldwide. Have a child with special needs? I found this video that is super helpful.