Every swimming pool needs a safety plan to protect young children from water accidents and there are a number of ways that can be employed at the same time to ensure their safety. Here’s how to make your pool safe with a layered protection plan.
If you can only do one thing, fences are the first and best way to ensure pool safety. Use a four-sided isolation pool fence with a self-closing, self-latching, child-resistant gate. It should be at least four feet high with openings no bigger than four inches. Don’t use a chain link fence, as it can be easily climbed.
Any wall with a door or window can’t function as part of a pool enclosure, since children simply have to leave the house to gain access to the pool.
Combining multiple audible warning systems will help to guard against accidents. Keep in mind that alarms only work when someone is around to hear them.
- Gate alarms sound when the gate is opened. An adult can disable it by pressing a pass button when entering or exiting. The alarm will also sound if the gate isn’t properly shut.
- In-pool alarms are activated by waves. Deck-mounted sensors dip into the pool water and an alarm will sound if a person or pet falls in.
- Infrared alarms use several freestanding sensors that detect motion and form an invisible border around the pool. An alarm will sound inside the house and by the pool when someone crosses the beam.
- Wrist alarms sound a warning when submerged under water. These bands, placed over a child’s wrist, allow parents to safeguard individual children.
When used regularly, safety covers can also prevent accidents. To qualify as a pool safety cover, it must be able to support at least 485 pounds within any three-foot diameter.
Maintain Constant Supervision
There’s no substitute for a parent’s watchful eye. If you need to leave the pool area for any reason, take the children with you.
Don’t Rely on Toys as Flotation Devices
Swim noodles, boogie boards and rubber tubes should not be relied on as flotation devices. Only floating devices that are securely tied to a person can be considered safe. Inflatable water wings, although popular, are highly unreliable as safety devices for children. Toddlers’ arms can go up over their heads and allow the water wings to float off. Anything inflatable is prone to tearing and deflating.
Things to Remember
To maintain a safe pool environment perform the following checks on a regular basis:
- Keep chairs and benches away from the safety fence, as such things could allow for fence climbing.
- Check for gaps under the fence that a kid could crawl under.
- Make sure that all self-latching gates close properly.