Swimming pools should always be happy places. Unfortunately, each year thousands of American families confront swimming pool tragedies, drownings and near-drownings of young children. These tragedies are preventable. This U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) handbook offers guidelines for pool barriers that can help prevent most submersion incidents involving young children. This handbook is designed for use by owners, purchasers, and builders of residential pools, spas, and hot tubs. The swimming pool barrier guidelines are not a CPSC standard and are not mandatory requirements. Therefore, the Commission does not endorse these guidelines as the sole method to minimize pool drownings of young children. The Commission believes, however, that the safety features recommended in this handbook will help make pools safer. Publication of this handbook is expected to promote pool safety awareness among owners, purchasers and builders of swimming pools. Some localities have incorporated the guidelines in this handbook into their building codes. Check with your local authorities to see whether these guidelines are included in your area’s building code or in other regulations.