Drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1 to 4 years of age in the US according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
As a pool owner or parent there are several things you can do to protect children from drowning or injury.
Child safety for pools includes having safety equipment and accessories readily available and teaching children to swim at an early age.
Pool safety devices
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a child safety pool fence can reduce the risk of a child drowning by 83%! Although potentially one of the most expensive of all the devices, it is probably the most effective.
There are also other child safety devices for pools such as door and gate alarms/locks, water monitors to detect motion/vibration, and pool covers and netting that covers the entire pool.
By using a combination of devices to prevent unintended entry to the pool you can drastically reduce the risk of a child entering an unattended pool and you can also detect if they somehow do and it can mean the difference between life and death.
Chances are you have met an adult who didn’t know how to swim. Not only was that a risk when they were younger, it’s also a risk for them today. Hmm, maybe this post should be about grownups instead of children. Well, let’s just go with it and we can make it work!
The American Association of Pediatrics says children can safely take swim lessons as early as age one.
One thing to consider is that they need enough practice to train their brains and make swimming second nature just like riding a bicycle.
If you don’t own a pool then you should make every effort to get them enough practice while they are learning and then as often as you can afterwards.
So unless you are still waiting for your child to turn one year old, what are you waiting on, get them to swimming lessons!
Rules for the pool
No one wants to be a party pooper, but simple pool rules like “no running” and “no glass” can help keep the party going and are the easiest things you can do to keep friends and family safe.
Don’t be afraid to introduce rules and ask for help to make sure they are followed because the alternative could be much worse.
OK this really should go without saying, but we will say it anyway. You have to put sunscreen on children and you have to reapply it according to the directions on the bottle, tube, or can.
No one wants their kid to turn into a lobster so lather them up, spray them, rub them and reapply as needed.
They will thank you later in life!
Pool construction considerations and design
You should consider how you want to use your pool as a family (or with friends) and work with your builder to design a pool that meets your needs from both a safety and functionality perspective.
This could include the depth of the pool, rock feature design, coping material/style, and decking material and coating.
Administering CPR can be the difference between life and death and being trained in CPR is highly recommended for pool owners and is a good idea for parents whether they have a pool or not.
Just like sunscreen use, this probably goes without saying too but we will, you should have a first aid kit near the pool and make sure that it is refreshed annually so that you have what you need and it hasn’t expired.
Although safety planning isn’t as fun as party planning, it can be the most important planning you will ever do and we hope we gave you some ideas to help you get started.