What Are Pool Hazards?
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 2,000 children under the age of 5 end up in emergency rooms every year due to swimming pool injuries. About 300 drown. In most cases, the swimming pool belongs to the family. Those numbers don’t include older kids or injuries suffered by adults and even pets in the family.
In order to reduce the risk of accidents and keep pool hazards to a minimum, there are a number of things homeowners can do. In some states, basic precautions such as fences are a requirement to qualify for homeowner’s insurance.
The first and most important thing you can do to reduce risks is to install a fence around the pool. Aim for a high of at least four feet and make sure it’s impossible to climb –For example, Guardian‘s mesh pool fences are the only pool fences that has no top-cross bar. Children are unable to pull themselves up and climb the fence over. The gate should be self-closing and self-latching.
During winter or if the pool won’t be used for long periods of time, it might be a good idea to use a pool cover. Simple net or plastic covers are available, or you can invest in a motor-driven cover –These are strong enough to support the weight of two adults, so they won’t cave in and trap your child if he steps on them. In the case of above-the-ground pools, simply remove the ladder so kids can’t climb into it. Simply draining the pool is not enough of a safety precaution –Young kids can slip and fall into the empty pool and suffer serious injuries.
Other precautions to consider:
– Buy anti-entrapment drain covers to prevent children from getting trapped by drain suction
– Install a loud splash alarm. These detect when something of a certain weight (usually above 15 lbs) fall into the pool.
– Install an electronic pool gate alarm.
Finally, always keep a flotation device, such as a ring buoy or a foam board, near or in the pool. In the case of an accident, you can use this to help you carry the person to safety. Flotation devices are not meant to take the place of supervision, however. You still need to keep an eye on children at all times while they’re in the pool, even if they can swim.