Read these 13 Pool Safety Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Child Safety Products tips and hundreds of other topics.
The primary function of a pool safety fence is to isolate the pool from your home and eliminate a toddler's access to the water. In order for the pool fence to work effectively, it must not be opened except when it is time to use and/or service the pool. Areas like your home and back yard should be accessible to you without opening the swimming pool fence. The more times a fence is opened, the higher the risk that it will not be closed.
Removable safety fencing has proven to be the most effective non-permanent barrier against pool drowning. A pool fence is generally made of polyester mesh mounted on aluminum or fiberglass support poles. The fence is placed into aluminum or polyester sleeves installed into your deck surface. A standard pool fence is removable in approximately fifteen-foot sections. Each section can easily be rolled up. It's a good idea, however to keep the fence up until children in the home are old enough not to require this safe guard any longer.
Having a pool can be a lot of fun for your children, but it can also mean a lot of responsibility for you, especially when it comes to safety. You probably already have the essential child safety pool fence, and perhaps a baby pool fence, but there are other items that can make the pool safer for your young children. Try a flotation swimsuit, which is a special bathing suit with a flotation panel attached, so it takes the place of a life jacket to help your kids stay safe in the water. This will increase their confidence as they master their swimming skills and it will also make you feel better, too. Flotation swimsuits come in all colors, designs and sizes, so you are sure to find one that appeals to your child.
Keeping your children safe at the pool is a necessity. Many products on the market today keep your particular needs in mind, however. Removable pool fences are designed specifically to provide a barrier around residential swimming pools for toddlers and young children. Typically a removable pool fence is available in a 42-, 48-, or 60-inch height. Pools fences are conveniently installed in sections to provide convenience for easy removal and reinstallation by parents.
The baby pool, the baby pool fence and the extra protection sunscreen are all products designed to keep your baby safe around water. You may also want to try a special baby carrier for use in full-sized pools. Called the Body Glove Infant Carrier, this serves as a front pouch to hold your baby safely against your chest in the pool. The carrier is appropriate for babies from four months on up until they reach 25 pounds. The pouch has adjustable straps and is padded to work like a wet suit to keep your baby's body temperature warm in the water. Once you step inside the swimming pool fence, just place the baby in the carrier and have your hands free to enjoy the pool with your child attached.
As any parent knows, the capabilities of babies change daily. In order to adapt to their growth and expanding curiosity, a baby pool fence should be installed and maintained. A see through mesh type fence should completely surround the pool, with a minimum height of 48 inches. As your baby becomes a toddler, keep all climbable objects away from the fence in the event they could enable a toddler to gain access over the fence. Approved pool safety covers can add yet another layer of protection. Additionally, perimeter yard fences should have self-closing and self-latching gates.
The height of swimming pool fences can range from 3.5 feet to 5 feet high. An average child capable of climbing a 4 foot high fence will most likely also be able to go over 5 feet. Beginning with a four-foot fence is probably a wise choice. Once the youngest child is older -- say around six, and hopefully has been enrolled in swimming lessons -- a shorter height like 3.5 feet is acceptable. At this point, the swimming pool fence serves more in the capacity of accident prevention (i.e., someone falling in by mistake) than as a barrier.
Build safety right into your swimming pool fence, with a motion detector that can be mounted onto the fence wall. This system, which is weatherproof, relies on infrared motion detectors to detect the motion and heat from children or animals in the vicinity and sets off an alarm to alert adults to come and check on them. Most such alarms, which can be set with a delay so that adults can enter, can be heard for up to 50 yards in all directions. This is one of many alarm designs that can help to keep your children safer in the vicinity of your pool. Shop around and compare features, prices and convenience to find the model that best meets your needs and will work with your existing pool fence configuration.
Taking proper care of your lifejackets ensures that they will last longer, and work better. After using your lifejackets, always wipe them dry, or hang to dry to prevent mold. If they have already gotten moldy, wipe with a solution of half bleach, and half water until clean. Then wipe dry and hang up. Before each use, check your lifejacket for any rips, tears, holes, or loose buckles. Never use a lifejacket of questionable quality.
Make sure access doors to the pool area have sturdy locks. Place alarms on access doors is another layer of protection. Get a child safety pool fence that separates the pool from your home and all access doors and entrances. Give your child water survival training for a child when he is capable of crawling or walking to the pool. CPR and your knowledge of rescue techniques are a final layer of protection should there be an accident.
The pool is a place for family fun. Standard safety precautions can help keep it that way. Post CPR instructions and the 911 emergency number in the pool area. Keep lifesaving equipment, such as a pole, life preserver, and rope in the pool area. Be sure no one trips on them by hanging them from the fence or somewhere close by, but off the ground. Always have a phone nearby the pool area. However, do not answer the phone while your children are in the pool; use the phone only to call 911 should a problem occur.
Having a pool safety fence around your swimming pool is an important line of defense to keep your children safe. But while the pool fence may keep your kids out of the pool area when they are unsupervised, for some determined children, you may need to go an extra step. Consider adding a gate alarm, which will alert you if anyone opens the gate to your pool without permission. Most pool fence alarms mount directly onto the gate easily with two magnetic switches and they go off if the electric field is broken. While this provides security to keep kids out, an adult can also override the alarm to enter the pool area without setting it off. There are many gate alarm models to choose from and most run by batteries. Shop around for the alarm that will best fit your swimming pool fence.
Pool covers are as essential as having a swimming pool fence to keep kids out of your pool. A particularly easy-to-use cover design is an automatic pool cover. This is a motor-powered barrier that prevents anyone from entering your pool without supervision. There is a wide range of styles available, but most work by turning a hand crank, or turning a key, to operate the motor in order to open, or close, the vinyl-fabric cover. This is a good choice for people who use their pool frequently and want to be able to get in and out quickly and easily. Automatic covers run on a straight track that is set around the pool area. In order for this to work, however, there must enough flat deck area inside your pool safety fence to accommodate the tracking. If you have enough room and need an easy-to-use way to block off your pool and protect your family, this may be a very good choice for you.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|