A backyard swimming pool provides outdoor fun and exercise for the whole family, but for young children, pools can be a serious safety hazard. Each year, over 200 young children drown in home swimming pools, driving home the importance of pool safety. Installing secure barriers or fencing, making sure that children are supervised, and investing in additional safety equipment can help reduce the chances of a child falling into the pool accidentally. These pool safety rules are a matter of life and death, and it’s important to take them seriously.
Barriers and Fencing
While a fence is no substitute for adult supervision, installing the right barriers can prevent very young children from accessing the pool. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission provides helpful guidelines for creating safe, child-proof barriers around your backyard pool area. The fencing should surround the pool on all four sides, and should ideally be a minimum of four feet high. It should be located so that it’s impossible for children to use nearby structures to climb over it. Along with a locked gate, the CPSC recommends installing a door alarm system on any exterior doors that lead to the pool area. Along with a secure fence, a pool cover can also prevent children from falling into a pool. If it’s automated, the control panel should be out of reach.
When it comes to pool safety rules, the very best protection for young children is close adult supervision. The majority of accidental swimming pool drowning victims are children between the age of one and three. Young children should never be in the pool area without at least one responsible adult present. When you’re watching young children in the pool, it’s important to stay vigilant and observant. Contrary to popular conception, a drowning person doesn’t necessarily make a lot of noise and commotion. Any lifeguard will tell you that drowning is a frighteningly quiet process. If you own a pool, you should be aware of the actual signs of drowning. If a person is very close to drowning, they will begin to exhibit the instinctive drowning response. This very specific set of behaviors is biologically hardwired, and is very different from how drowning is usually portrayed in media.
Along with fences and door alarms, additional pool safety equipment can help prevent accidents. Pool alarms, available from several manufacturers, provide additional monitoring. When they’re enabled, they’ll sound the alarm if they detect movement or objects immersed in the pool. It’s also advisable to have emergency water rescue and first aid equipment on hand. Life hooks, safety rings, and safety rope dividers are all advisable.
First Aid and CPR
Even with all the right safety equipment in place, with good pool safety rules that children are taught to follow, accidents still happen. Children wander off, people forget to lock doors and gates, and adults can get distracted. If the unthinkable happens, and your child or a neighbor’s child falls into your pool accidentally, knowing first aid and CPR can save their life. When someone is in the process of drowning, their brain and body are deprived of oxygen. The longer this oxygen deprivation persists, the more likely they are to suffer permanent or even fatal damage. If you own a pool, even if you don’t have small children of your own, we strongly recommend taking a certification course for first aid and CPR. This training is offered nationwide by the American Red Cross, and there are several locations in Miami where you can get certified.
At All Florida Pool & Spa Center, we take pool safety rules seriously. A backyard swimming pool is a lot of fun, but it also leaves you responsible for keeping it safe. Small children are at a high risk of accidental drowning in backyard pools, and even adults can drown when they’re intoxicated or otherwise impaired. The right pool safety equipment can help you keep your pool area safe and secure.