Summer is all about fun in the sun. Trips to the beach, sleeping in late and hours spent by the pool are surefire signs that summer is in full swing. But what happens when those fun activities turn into tragedy?
Between 2005 and 2014, there was an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings each year in the United States. About one in five of those fatalities were children aged 14 and younger.1 Young children are particularly susceptible to pool-related injuries. Of the total number of non-fatal drowning incidents that resulted in emergency room visits between 2015 and 2017, 73 percent of the victims were 5 or younger.2
So far in 2018, there have been 43 child drownings in Texas. Fifteen of those drownings were in backyard pools.3
Drownings like these happen all the time and peak during the summer when everyone goes outside for a dip in the pool. It can happen to anyone. In June, retired Olympic skier Bode Miller’s 19-month-old daughter drowned after falling into a backyard swimming pool.4
These accidents can be prevented when the right security measures are in place. If you have a swimming pool at home, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends several ways to prevent child drownings, including:
- Constant supervision: Adults supervising children around water should not distract themselves with other activities. Supervisors should follow the “touch supervision” rule of always being close enough to reach the child.
- Swimming lessons: Formal swimming lessons from an instructor should begin as soon as the child is old enough, as this decreases the likelihood of a drowning. Children in swimming lessons should still be supervised around water and have a barrier, such as a pool fence, to prevent unsupervised access.
- Clearing the pool and deck of toys: What many guardians don’t take into consideration is that toys left out near the pool are enticing to children. Remove toys from the pool and surrounding areas so children aren’t tempted to approach the water unsupervised.
The CDC also recommends installing a four-sided fence that completely separates the pool area from the house and yard. The enclosure must be tall enough that the latches are out of the reach of children. States have their own laws regarding minimum pool enclosure heights. In Texas, residential pool fencing must be at least 48 inches high.
Types of Pool Fences
There are several types of pool fences to consider when choosing one for your backyard pool. It’s important to pick one that suits your safety needs and aesthetic preferences to ensure a finished look that will last for years to come.
- Aluminum – Pool fences made with aluminum are valued for their relatively low cost, durability and anti-rusting properties. If you are looking for a simple and straightforward solution, aluminum fencing may be the right choice for you.
- Wrought iron – While not as popular as it once was for pool fences, wrought iron is still cherished for its antique appearance and durability. Homeowners typically choose this fencing material for its classic appearance.
- Wood – Wooden fences are another traditional and long-lasting option that give homeowners more privacy. They are available in a variety of designs, colors, shapes and sizes and only need to be painted or treated annually.
- Vinyl – Vinyl fences are the safest choice for children because there are no gaps to squeeze through, bars to climb or sharp edges. They are more durable than standard wood fences and provide a high level of privacy for your backyard.
Swimming is the fourth most popular activity in the United States, and with over 10.4 million residential pools nationwide, it’s increasingly important that every safety measure is exhausted to prevent accidental drownings.5
Protect Your Family With a Pool Fence from Austex Fence and Deck in Austin, TX
If your backyard pool isn’t fenced in, call on the professionals at Austex Fence and Deck. We’ve been serving central Texas for more than 25 years and have completed over 100,000 projects along the way. From decks to fences, we’ll enhance the beauty of your property and help keep your family safe.
For your free quote, visit us online or call (512) 258-5000.