When it comes protecting your children, you can never take too many precautions. With summer approaching and bringing with it endless pool parties, it’s always a good idea to revisit a mental, if not physical, checklist to ensure all potential drowning hazards are addressed. As a responsible adult, it’s your job to make sure children are safe in and around swimming pools. Here are the top three ways to have peace of mind and prevent little ones from falling in.
- Gates and fences: This is your first line of defense against young wandering eyes and feet. Simply put, if your child can’t physically get to the pool, it doesn’t present a danger. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), nearly 400 children die every year from pool or spa-related accidents—most of which are completely preventable. A proper gate stands at the right height and contains no holes or large gaps through which toddlers can slip. You also want one with a self-closing mechanism to avoid accidents caused by forgetting to close the door behind you.
- Safety covers: Installing a pool safety cover is a worthwhile investment for households with young children. Pool covers vary greatly in terms of size, durability, and cost. But automatic covers are best as they require no more than the push of a button to offer complete protection from accidents. If that’s not within your budget, consider a solid or mesh cover to be placed over the pool manually between use and during the winter months. The key takeaways here are that the cover is securely anchored, thick enough to withstand intrusion, and always monitored for water pooling as the surface of the cover can be just as dangerous as the water underneath.
- Locks and alarms: Doors and windows leading to the backyard must also be secured with child safety locks for a 360 degree approach to pool safety. Most houses equipped with an alarm system allow for in-home alerts when perimeter doors are opened. To take it a step further, consider an alarm systems for automatic swimming pool covers that can notify you when the pool is being opened and by whom. Beyond the installation though, it’s crucial that you actually use the locks 100% of the time and stress to babysitters, housekeepers, and visitors to do the same. All it takes is one careless act for tragedy to occur.
Not only is pool safety the responsibility of all teenagers and adults; in most states it’s the law. Practice common sense and follow the advice of pool care professionals who warn against the dangers of unsecured homes and yards. While not exhaustive, checking these pool safety tasks off your To-Do list will ensure a safe environment for children and leave you with a sense of peace and control.
Originally posted 6/2015