As refreshing and fun as a swimming pool can be, it can be equally as dangerous for unsuspecting and unprepared children. It’s important to note that one in five people who die from drowning are children. That’s why it’s essential to prepare your children and your backyard for the summer’s swimming season as soon as possible. Total pool safety comes from three areas: education, prevention and monitoring. We will go over these three steps to pool safety below!
Educate Your Children
The first step in drowning prevention is education. You will want to teach your children about the dangers of the pool and the importance of an adult monitoring them. You should also ensure that your children have had swimming lessons. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says formal swimming lessons can reduce the chance of drowning by 88% in children ages one to four. Swimming lessons not only ensure that they’re prepared in case they were to fall into the pool, but their swimming abilities will be stronger and will give you and your children more confidence in their swimming.
Add a Pool Fence
Prevent children from accessing the pool at inappropriate times by installing a fence around your pool. Many cities and counties require that you add a fence around your pool, including our hometown – Austin.
If you’re in the Austin area, pools (and pool fences) will be inspected once installed. The requirements for pool fences vary on whether the pool is for commercial or personal use. If the pool is for personal use, the fence height must be at least four feet tall and cannot include any openings or gaps larger than 4 inches. Your pool fence needs a gate, and the gate needs to swing away from the pool and have a latch at least 60” high.
Monitor the Area
Keeping your children safe in the pool this summer is a two-way street. Although you’ve trained them and educated them on pool safety and swimming best practices, the best way to keep them safe in the pool is to closely watch them. There are a couple of general rules you should follow when monitoring your children at the pool.
- Sit outside or be in the pool with them. Also, be present and alert and off your cell phone. It’s not good enough to watch them through a window while you’re inside the house. Every second counts when you’re trying to save them from drowning.
- Have everything you will need outside with you. As unlikely as it may seem, stepping inside just for a minute to grab something you need can be extremely dangerous for a child in a pool.
- If you do have to step inside, ask the children to get out of the pool and out of the pool area (on the other side of your fence) until you return.
Once everyone is done swimming, put all toys away in a safe place out of sight. Pool safety starts with you! Give us a call today to install your pool fence in time for summer.