Swimming pools can be a source of fun for the entire family, but if you're not diligent about swimming pool safety, a splash in the water can quickly turn tragic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death in children aged 1 to 14 years. Just as bad, many kids who survive a near-drowning suffer irreversible neurological damage. To keep your swimming pool safe for everyone, follow these safety tips.
The first line of defense against pool-related tragedies is to surround the perimeter of the pool with a self-closing, self-latching fence. The pool fencing should be locked whenever the swimming pool is not being used. Also, check the pool safety gate regularly for signs of wear and tear, and repair any holes or worn areas immediately.
It only takes seconds for a child to drown. So, in addition to a safety gate, cover the pool with a safety cover or net to provide an extra layer of protection when it's not being used. Pool covers are anchored to the deck and made to stretch firmly over a swimming pool. Pool safety covers come in solid or mesh styles and hold a minimum of 485 pounds of weight per 5 square feet of surface coverage.
Swimming pool safety nets are tensioned across the pool. The net is designed to catch children in the netting and keep them from being submerged underwater if they accidentally fall or try to jump in the pool. Safety nets are flexible, lightweight and easily removed and replaced by an adult. They are made both for inground pools as well as above ground pools.
Even when kids are being properly supervised, they can slip away without warning, so you can never be too safe when there's a pool around. Alarms provide additional pool safety by alerting you whenever someone is in or around the pool area.
There are many different pool alarms to choose from. Some alarms are pool-mounted, while others can be attached to a fence or door. More expensive, high-tech swimming pool alarms use laser or infrared light to secure the entire pool's perimeter.
Pool covers, safety nets, alarms and gates should be used in conjunction with common-sense pool safety rules and proper supervision of children. Also, when there is a pool on the property, all residents should take swimming lessons if they don't already know how to swim.