It is the responsibility of the owner of a swimming pool to ensure that their children are safe in and around it. This is important when small children are around, who might otherwise venture too close to the edge of the pool, unaware of its depth or how dangerous it can be.
This includes, but is not limited to, knowing that they should never jump into a swimming pool from an elevated surface because this could cause them serious harm as they hit whatever’s below them before water.
In this article, we will talk about pool safety and what you can do to ensure that your children, adults, and guests stay safe around your swimming pool.
What Is Pool Safety Equipment?
Pool safety has three main goals:
- Preventing access to swimming pools.
- Alerting others when a human or a pet enters the water.
- Rescuing someone who has fallen into the water.
Important note: “Keep everyone safe in and around your pool by using a mix of barriers, alarms, and emergency rescue equipment.” Matt, founder of Swim University
Drowning Prevention for Pool Owners
Pool owners have an obligation to keep their children safe in and around their swimming pools. This includes knowing that younger children should never be allowed near the pool’s edge, where they may fall unnoticed, especially without an adult supervising them.
Provide layers of protection surrounding your pool, especially for small children who may live there or come there for a visit. And if you don’t have a swimming pool but are planning to build one in your backyard, read through these guidelines to prevent accidents.
Also, bear in mind the dangers of in-ground swimming pools, above-ground swimming pools, hot tubs, and even portable or inflatable kiddie pools.
1. Pool Barriers
One of the most efficient ways to prevent a kid from drowning in your pool or hot tub is installing and maintaining obstacles such as pool safety fences, pool gates, power safety covers, and alarms. A properly constructed barrier should prohibit a youngster from climbing over, under, or through the barrier to get unsupervised access to the pool.
Here are some guidelines from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to prevent children from bringing down the barriers:
- Consider enclosing the pool on all four sides with a fence rather than using the house as the fourth barrier.
- In general, to be safer, the height of pool safety fences should be at least four feet high; five feet is even better.
- Build your fence in a way that prevents children from using things to climb over it, and make sure there are no handholds or footholds that children may use to assist them in mounting it.
- Do not use lightweight pool safety fences – they are designed to give way, collapse, or topple over.
- The gates of your pool safety fence should be self-closing, self-latching, and fastened in a way that makes it difficult for children to access them.
- If you need to remove your fencing for any reason, do so only after disconnecting it into two separate parts. This makes sure that there are no potential handholds or footholds.
- Alarms are a good way to prevent children from accessing the pool without supervision.
- Pool alarms should be installed on all sides of the pool by your deck and within three to five feet of the water’s edge.
- Use a certified safety cover to secure above-ground swimming pools. It should have a lock or other security device that prevents it from opening without a key or combination. It should be broad enough so that a child cannot climb through a gap or underneath it.
- Install a pool alarm that sounds anytime someone enters the pool. As with the door alarm, ensure that the pool alarm is different from the noises around your property. Ensure you have remote alarm speakers so you may hear the pool alarm even if you are inside the home or otherwise away from the pool.
Looking for the best pool fence for your home? You’d be surprised at how many choices there are! Read more here.
2. Install Safety Drain Covers
Anti-entrapment safety drain covers enhance the safety of your backyard oasis. Powerful suctions can quickly suck up and trap small children and some instances, adults. Keep your children away from pipes, pool drain, and other holes in the pool to prevent entrapment injuries.
Related: Pros and Cons of Automatic Pool Covers, Guide to Installing Pool Covers, Solar Pool Covers
3. Keep a Close Eye on Children
One of the most critical pool safety rules is to never leave an unaccompanied youngster near a swimming pool or hot tub (or any other body of water). Maintain an arm’s length distance between small children and non-swimmers.
If a youngster goes missing, the first place to search is in the pool, including your neighbors’ pools. Every second matters in preventing drowning.
4. Encourage Anyone in the Household to Learn Swimming
Children and adults alike should learn how to swim, especially if you have a swimming pool. For the kids, it’s advisable to enroll them in swimming lessons at least once a year.
Swimmers who are unable to swim or unskilled should use life jackets certified by the United States Coast Guard. Avoid using “floaties” on small children to prevent them from developing a dependency and taking risks they are not prepared for.
5. Always Be Prepared for Emergencies
- Make sure everyone at home knows water safety, first aid, and CPR skills. That would bring you more peace of mind.
- Maintain the emergency equipment near the pool is readily available and in excellent working order — such as life rings, inflatable floats, or a reaching pole.
- Having a phone at the pool with emergency numbers displayed is a good idea. Also, make a note of your address for the advantage of guests, babysitters, or even small children who may not be aware of your home’s location.
- Make sure to provide safety guidelines and pool rules with your family, friends, and babysitters, as well as your neighbors.
Protect your family and friends from accidents with these pool accessories. Be sure to add these to improve pool safety.
6. Create Pool Rules
- No diving
- Don’t swim alone
- Don’t run
- No rough play
- Be careful
- Watch your children
- Children always accompanied with adults
7. Understand the Legal Risks of Having a Pool
It doesn’t matter how many precautions you take. Owning a pool may still be a potentially risky avenue. Besides the sorrow of someone drowning in your pool, you, as the pool owner, risk getting sued if something bad happens to your guests. To reduce your legal troubles, here are some guidelines you can follow.
- Adhere to all local home pool safety rules, regulations, and laws.
- Urge swimmers to swim with a buddy – adults and children – household and guests. Also, your adult guest should always keep an eye on their own youngsters.
- Don’t let people into your pool who are under the influence of alcohol.
- Consider not installing your diving board.
- Make certain that your homeowner’s insurance policy provides coverage for liability lawsuits arising out of swimming pool injuries or deaths, as well as for wrongful death claims.
Some insurance plans will not cover pools with slides or diving boards. They require that there must be pool safety precautions in place before they grant you insurance coverage.
It’s essential to make sure that you and your family and guests follow these safety guidelines and rules to ensure pool safety. As a pool owner, you must create pool rules and abide by them. It can be a terrifying time for those involved and one of the most difficult times as a parent or pool owner if an accident happens.
Follow these safety rules and guidelines at all times. Remember, drowning is always a tragic occurrence. However, the best way to prevent a pool drowning is always to build a strong pool safety fence and make certain that your guests abide by all of your pool safety rules and regulations. Happy swimming!