14 Ways to Keep Your Children Safe
- First and foremost, if your child is ever out of your sight, your first stop must be the swimming pool.
- Never leave your child in the swimming pool area without responsible adult supervision. Too many parents can tell you: It only takes a few seconds for accidents to happen.
- Enclose your pool with a SAFETY FENCE. The fence should surround the pool completely on ALL sides. The gate should be both self-closing and self-latching with the lock release no less than 54” above the ground. The gate should open out and away from the pool – ALWAYS. And remember: a safety fence can’t be climbed. The best type of fence is the mesh type of fence. A rigid fence of any type can be climbed. Mesh Can’t be.
- Keep all tables, chairs, and any other “climbable” items away from the fence.
- Keep all your child’s toys and personal items outside of the fence when the pool is not being used. You shouldn’t be inadvertently tempting your toddler to try to figure a way back into the pool area.
- Do NOT use chlorinators and thermometers that are shaped like toys such as tugboats, frogs, etc. They, too, can be tempting for a determined child.
- ALARMS – There are almost endless types of pool related alarms from free standing units to total house and pool systems. There are pool alarms that detect splashes and pool alarms that detect motion in the water (negative displacement). There are infrared alarms, and personal immersion alarms, and proximity alarms, interior pool-access door alarms, and exterior weather-proof pool gate alarms. There are constantly new designs and new technologies being introduced to make and keep your child safe.
- Install high and out-of-reach locks on ALL house doors that lead to the pool and yard area. Eventually your toddler will figure out how to work a doorknob, a lever, and a dead lock. Count on it.
- Install a Safety Pool Cover. These are usually called “winter covers” because they’re primarily used… in the winter. There are NOT the tarp-type of covers that area laid over the pool with water bags (or eventually: sandbags, flowerpots, or cinder blocks) holding it down around the perimeter. These covers are bolted to the ground making it impossible for a child to get under the edges. There are 2 types of safety covers: Mesh or Solid. Mesh is generally considered the safer of the two.
- Keep rescue devices close by. For example: life-rings, and hook poles.
- Keep a working phone nearby the pool area.
- Get your child swimming lessons and/or water survival lessons. The philosophies vary on the best type and the best age to begin lessons, but a good rule of thumb would be… ANY type of reputable lesson, NOW.
- Every responsible adult, parent, or guardian, should know CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), especially infant CPR. If you can’t easily find local CPR instructions, contact the Red Cross or visit their website at ww.redcorrs.org. CPR is the last thing you want to do, but it’s the first thing you should know how to do.
- Keep in mind that there are endless ways of protecting your child from the natural hazards of swimming pools, and this list is far from complete. Except for here in this #14, there is no mention of anti-entrapment devices, use of electricity around the pool, rowdy behavior, weather conditions, pets, filter and heater hazards, chemicals, etc. As with everything else in life, keep alert, keep aware, keep your kids safe. And remember, nothing replaces parental supervision.
Best Defense Pool Enclosures can help evaluate your pool for child safety. Call us at (215) 214-2199 or contact us online here.