Sadly, drowning is one of the leading causes of death among young children. Hundreds of kids drown each year in the United States, mostly in backyard pools. Thankfully, such tragedies can be prevented by following some simple rules.
A sober adult that knows how to swim should always be supervising when children are in the water. Never assume someone else is monitoring the kids. It is good to take turns on lifeguard duty at social gatherings, but don't leave until you know the next adult is watching. You also shouldn't assume a babysitter knows proper water safety, so be sure to go over it before entrusting your children to him/her.
Young children need to know that while swimming is fun, it can also be dangerous if they do not follow the rules. Make sure they understand that they are never to go in the water without an adult present. Have zero tolerance for tackling others into the pool or pushing them under water.
Flotation devices do not guarantee that children will be safe in the water. Swimming lessons are great, but just because a young child has taken them doesn't mean they are ready to swim unsupervised. You will often not hear any splashes or noise if a child is drowning, so be sure to have them in your sight even if they are using a flotation device.
If an incident does occur, being prepared can save a life. Learning CPR is a a great start. Be sure to have a first aid kit and a phone to call 911 poolside. Also, if you cannot find your child be sure to rush to the pool first before looking anywhere else in the house. Those minutes or seconds can make all the difference.