For those long, hot summer days of scorching heat, home pools provide a welcome respite for families, providing endless fun for children as parents relax around the pool with their drinks and books in hand. While parents are aware of the precautions that are needed to ensure the safety of their children, annual research and statistics still reveal a steady amount of toddler drownings at home, with most of them occurring in home pools. In fact, one in four fatal drownings involve children and home pools.
As such, the importance of childproofing the home pool should be a priority for every family. If a family considers the following in childproofing their home pool, toddler drownings and other accidents can be prevented and summer vacations can be enjoyed more.
Effective pool fences
One of the most important things parents should consider is the effectiveness and safeness of pool barriers. Experts suggest ensuring that a fence surrounds the pool and separates it from the house and the neighborhood. They also suggest making the fence at least 1.2m high, with the gap between the bottom and the ground no less than 10cm, to prevent a child from climbing over the fence. Parents should also ensure that the gate has no foothold that can assist a child in climbing over the fence, or objects such as trees, shrubs, rocks, toys, pool aids and pool chairs as well. As such, objects such as pool aids and toys should always be stored away and out of children’s sight and reach. If the fence is part of the wall of the house, there should be no windows, doors or other openings that can help a child access the pool.
A pool gate’s locking mechanism also helps ensure the safety of the child. A gate that closes and latches by itself when opened, and which opens outward, away from the pool, ensures that the child cannot readily gain access into the pool. Parents should also ensure that the distance between the fence support poles is about 76.2cm. Parents can also invest in mesh material for the pool fence to ensure maximum safety for children. Most of all, one’s swimming pool fence must always be in secure and in good working order. Always check that the gate latch as well as the hinges, are working,
Pool safety alarms
Invest in pool safety alarms. 70% of toddler drownings occurred when parents claimed that they just “turned their backs for a moment”, only to find that their children have inadvertently slipped into the pool and drowned. Thus, to ensure that children are watched over all the time, parents may invest in alarms that can help prevent accidents in the home pool. This will depend, of course, on the parents’ budget, pool type and other specifications. Alarms can vary, from gate alarms, to door alarms, window alarms, or the more sophisticated perimeter alarms, voice alarms, floating or wave sensors or pool-mounted infra-red motion detectors. For pool safety alarms, parents should first consider the features like audible alarm sound, dependability, durability and price, power source, fail safes and so on.
Again, the kind of alarm that parents will decide on will depend on their particular pool safety needs.