Pool Safety for Kids – How to Prevent Tragedies

The warm season beckons and the covers are coming off lots of pools – they are after all an excellent means of recreation for the family and friends. Swimming is not only fun, it’s terrific exercise. But you must be aware that having a pool around is dangerous if not monitored properly. Every year, there are tragic stories of young children drowning in residential swimming pools.

This can be easily prevented by taking precautions to ensure that your pools have more than adequate protection:

1) Install pool fencing that children cannot climb over, under or through.  It should be at least 4 feet high and surround all the sides of the pool. It should have no foot or handholds that can help a young child climb over it. Ensure that the fence is well maintained and check regularly for access gaps.

Research demonstrates, that a fence which provides a complete barrier around all sides of a pool, may prevent seven out of ten drownings to children under five years of age.

2) Ensure that the pool gates are as high as the fencing. They must be self closing with a self-latching mechanism that prevents children from opening it easily.

3) Install alarms that can alert you to emergencies before it is too late. Use both pool and gate alarms. Also add an alarm to the access doors to the pool. The more layers of protection, the better. 

4) Make sure your child learns how to swim, but never assume that he or she is safe in the water alone. Many parents overestimate their children’s swimming competencies. Always, always supervise.

5) Learn how to perform CPR and accident procedures. If not your own child, you may be able to save someone else’s. 

6) Recommended safety equipment:
  • – First aid kit
  • – Phone for emergencies
  • – A reaching pole
  • – A ring buoy attached to a rope.

If you have a pool, you have a responsibility to safeguard it. With the right level of supervision and caution, pools offer a chance for kids to play outside, get some exercise and have some fun!
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