How to Keep Your Home Pool Safe for Your Children

sun unbrella and table next to swimming pool

If you have a swimming pool at home, pool safety is a very important thing to consider. Drowning is the biggest cause of accidental death in children under five in the United States, and so taking some basic precautions and having an awareness of pool safety can really help keep your children safe. Death is not the only possible devastating result of carelessness with your pool safety. Spinal injuries and contagious infections are other risks associated with water. So how do you ensure that your pool is as safe as it can be for your children? Follow these guidelines to keep your children safe by the pool.

Supervision:

This is probably the main thing you can do to keep your children safe poolside. Proper supervision of your children means being in or by the pool with them. It is not enough to check on them every ten minutes if you are busy doing chores in the house, or the occasional glance up from your book if you relaxing on a lounger. If your children are playing in or around the pool, you need to be with them, and give them all your attention. Make sure you can always see your child and that you are nearby in case of emergency. Children can drown in just thirty seconds, so you need to be vigilant. Don’t let your child be added to the 70% of drownings in which no adult supervision is the main factor.

Teach them to Swim:

If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, you should make sure to enroll your child in swimming lessons as early as possible. If your children become strong, confident swimmers early on, you will be able to limit the possibility of drowning accidents. Additionally, you should consider enrolling yourself and your children in water safety classes that will teach them how to be safe at the poolside, as well as CPR.

Pool Fencing:

A fence separating your pool from the rest of your home and yard can be one of the most effective ways of ensuring pool safety. Your fence should surround your pool, cutting it off from the rest of the property. In addition, you should make sure your fence is 1.5 meters or 5 feet in height. It should include a child safety gate with a handle that is high up. This will mean that your children cannot wander out of the house and fall into the pool. Children will possibly be able to use garden furniture and toys to climb up and open the gate. Minimize this risk by storing furniture and toys out of the way of children.

Essential Equipment:

It is important to make sure that there are arm bands and life jackets available by your pool. Also, you should make sure that there is a poolside telephone and lifesaving equipment. You should purchase a pole, a rope, rescue buoys and a first aid kit to be kept near your pool. Make sure that when your pool is in use, it is always completely uncovered, so that children don’t slip under the cover and get stuck. Finally, keep your poolside tidy, with all toys put away to reduce the attraction it has for children when not in use.

Image courtesy of Aqua Vista Glass via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

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  • Amy LeForge April 13, 2013, 5:50 pm

    I know we’ve had a lot of pool safety articles over the years. It’s such a popular topic with contributors because there are so many accidental drownings every year. Please…be safe.
    Amy LeForge´s last blog post ..The Importance of Having Family Time

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