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5 Ways You Can Make Your Swimming Pool Safer

If you’ve had your pool for even one summer, you already have fond memories of the fun it’s provided: your children laughing for hours on their rafts, your friends getting tan while listening to some classic rock; cannonballs, splash fights.  The pool is there to build memories and to make summer fun.  But as with everything else, you have to spend a little time on the serious stuff to make sure your fun stays safe. The few safeguards necessary to make sure the fun and games are always fun and games are relatively quick, painless, and inexpensive. 1. Fence It In You may live in a town that requires fences for newly-installed pools, either above or in-ground.  But you might not, or you may have installed your pool before such a requirement came into being.  A report from the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission, a government agency) gives many compelling reasons to install a fence, particularly if you have children ages 5 or under.  I’ll outline just a few here:

  • Accidental drownings happen fast.  According to the report “How To Plan For the Unexpected: Preventing Child Drownings,” “a child can drown in the time it takes to answer a phone call.”

  • Child drowning usually occurs without splashing, screaming, or other noises to alert an adult.

  • Most victims of childhood drownings were actually supervised by parents at the time.  Referring to the number of drowning victims reported in the study, the CPSC points out “69 percent of the children were not expected to be at or in the pool.”

The same report recommends a fence of at least 4 feet, with vertical slats less than 4 inches apart. Some makers of pool fences design their products with child safety as their express mission—with these companies, you’ll get a detailed run-down of the fence’s safety features.   2. Cover It Up One thing to remember is that pool safety is very important in the off-season, too. Notice, above, that the children involved in many drownings weren’t expected to be near the pool.  Even in icy winter, a pool can be a worthy target for an exploring toddler, so be sure to invest in a safety cover for your pool, especially if you have kids. High-quality covers are designed to be able to hold a human’s weight in case such a circumstance arises.    I recommend one made of mesh fabric—this keeps rainwater from collecting on top and forming its own hazard..

Swimming pool safety cover can support adult walking on it

3.  Safe-designed ladders and steps Having a fence around your pool should keep youngsters and any unauthorized users out.  But another layer of security can come from safety-features built into your pool ladder.  Some ladders feature roll guards to block off and make inaccessible the outside rungs, keeping everyone out until you release this feature. When the pool is in use and you’re out there splashing up a storm, it’s still important to have safe steps and ladders to prevent slips and falls.  For in-pool ladders, I’d recommend staying away from those that have rungs with thin surfaces, and go for ones with actual steps for rungs—big enough for someone to place their entire foot on.  Most of these have non-skid surfaces, another important feature.   4. Invest in an Alarm Makers of products for pool safety have been thorough and ingenious in providing a nice variety of alarms for your pool.  Probably the most important, and the type I’d go with if I were planning to use only one, is the perimeter alarm or “invisible fence.”  This involves mounting a few infrared detectors around your pool.  These detect motion and set off a loud siren. If you’d like even more safety, you can get an alarm for your pool’s gate, which means you’ll hear a siren before a child makes it to the water’s edge to be detected by the perimeter alarm.  For another option, there are now alarms you can have your children wear on their wrist—these sound when the wrist goes below the water’s surface. Supervising kids in swimming pool 5. For Free: Adult Supervision If you are a parent, you’re already aware that your presence is as valuable a safe-guard as any.  An adult’s presence often makes kids less rambunctious to begin with. Many of the above security systems are there for times when your children aren’t supposed to be in the pool, when you’re probably busy in the house.  When they’re actually swimming, swim with them, since you’re the one who paid for the pool in the first place.  At the very least be in a position for a quick intervention when necessary. Have questions about safety gear for your swimming pool?  Feel free to contact us here, we'll be happy to answer any questions!

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