We will start this article with hard-hitting facts to really stress the importance of keeping your home pool safe for kids and even pets.
- Did you know that according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that in the US more children from ages 1 to 4 die from drowning than any other cause of death?
- The World Health Organization (WHO) also reported that drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional death in the world with an annual death of 372,000.
- The US Product Safety Commission said that 47% of children who suffered injuries in swimming pools did so in residential pools.
- Most deaths happen during the summer months.
The sobering statistics stated above are for deaths due to drowning, which is mostly associated with backyard pools. But drowning is not the only hazard related to swimming pools – we also have non-fatal injuries like slipping in the wet areas around the pool, electrical shocks, diarrhea, swimmer’s red eyes, skin irritation, fungal infections, and more. Even our pets are not safe!
With the summer starting soon, we don’t want the season to be marred by any accidents, discomforts, and diseases. Let’s make this year’s summer season full of fun memories, starting by keeping our home pool safe for our kids. Some ways that we can do it are by adding safety barriers and fences, updating pool drain covers, investing in automatic pool covers, regular pool inspection, having professionals doing necessary repairs, safeguarding the pool area from possible electric shocks, adding non-slip surface for poolside decks, educating kids on safe pool conduct and maintaining pool cleanliness.
Click here to read tips on how to get your home ready for the summer.
So without further ado, let’s plunge into different ways how to make your home pool safe for your kids:
Add safety barriers and fences around the pool areaAdding a fence or a safety barrier around the pool area is effective in deterring small kids and pets from falling into the pool. Though depending on the area where you live, this might be the standard rule or a legal provision to follow when you have a pool at home.
We suggest that your fence should be at least four to five feet high or even higher depending on your preference and surrounding space. The thinking here is that the latches on the fence or gate should be high enough that children will have a hard time reaching them. So ensure that you also have a child safety gate that only adults or bigger kids can access.
Along with having fences installed in the pool area, make sure that it is well maintained. Check for damages and gaps, especially after harsh weather. Make sure that it is also shut at all times or should have self-closing features so that kids and pets won’t be able to get near the pool unsupervised.
In addition, if you already have a fence in the pool area, make sure that there are no items leaning against the fence that could aid them to climb. This is a big neon sign for kids and pets to “climb me” and gain access.
Update Pool Drain Covers
As a pool owner, it is important to know that your pool drain cover should be well-maintained. Your drain covers protect pool users from possible entrapment, which can cause serious injury and even death. Note that the suction from drains is strong enough and even if your child is a good swimmer, the pull can hold him/her underwater.
Due to wear and tear plus pool chemicals, your pool drain cover will eventually weaken.
Make sure to call pool pros near you so that they can inspect and do the installation of new pool drain covers for you if needed.
Have a safety cover installed
The concept of a safety cover is simple, if your kids or pets gain access to your pool, they will not be able to come in contact with the water and would just simply walk across it.
You can have the old-school cover – the safety net and mesh covers. It may not be that aesthetically pleasing for some but they do the job and don’t even require a lot of time to install.
If you have the money to invest, you can go for automatic pool covers. The price for this ranges from $6,000 and up and could take more than a month to manufacture. Why? It is built to match the exact dimension of your pool and you could just coolly operate it with just a touch of the button. If you have the money to spare and safety is paramount, this is for you.
If you also want to be on the techy side while maintaining pool safety, you can even add a pool alarm! In case your pool cover is not closed, the alarm will go off if someone has fallen in the pool. The alarm actually can detect the movement or wave in the pool.
Have your pool area inspected by a licensed electrician to safeguard against electric shocks
We all know that water and electricity are not a good mix. This is why if you have a pool at home, it is important to take extra caution to avoid electrical shocks. The best way to do this is to hire a licensed electrician to assess your pool area and make sure you are safe and compliant. Issues that could arise are not having Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), which could prevent electrocution, or having faulty wiring failing to ground. Do not fret, electrocution is preventable.
As another safety measure, make sure that your pool deck is clear from any power cords and electronics to prevent any electrical device from falling into the pool.
Regular pool inspection and calling the pool professionals for necessary repairs
Yes, you can generally check your pool and spot if there are obvious issues, but it is best to call in the pros for a more comprehensive pool inspection. They will give you the necessary recommendations on what to repair, replace, and install.
Some of the common pool repairs listed by our pool pros are leaking skimmer, clogged pump impeller and pool cleaner, filter replacement, lining issues, leaking pumps, not heating, melted pump fitting, and air in the pump basket – all of which could be resolved by professionals.
The average cost of pool repairs could range from $50 to $700 depending on the complexity of the repair and your region. But of course, it is a must for pool owners to avoid accidents so that they can fully enjoy your pool.
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Maintain cleanliness in your pool
When it comes to keeping our pool safe for kids (and the whole family), it’s not only about accidents, but this also covers their health. Even if your pool seems clear with an inviting blue color, you don’t know what is behind the water – and we mean germs and pathogens, which will of course cause illnesses, especially to kids.
Regularly cleaning your pool should be a part of your routine. Vacuum your pool weekly, and skim your pool from debris, such as twigs and leaves. Also, test your pH and chlorine levels and clean your pool tiles and walls.
If you feel that you don’t have time for regular maintenance, then avail of pool services.
Adding non-slip surface for poolside decks
Your poolside decks are bound to be wet, so your goal is to make sure that the surface is not slippery to avoid someone from falling and getting injured. Poolside decks of course have more performance requirements than your regular patio and one of them is being non-slippery.
You can either choose the right materials, add a non-slip coating or use pool mats to add texture to the surface, which will increase friction and traction.
For extra good measure, instruct your kids to avoid running around the wet surface and avoid puddles.
Educating kids on safe pool conduct
If you have a pool at home, then educating your kids on proper safe pool conduct is a must. Discuss the dangers of swimming and the consequence of going to pools without adult supervision. Make sure you have a set of rules to follow and communicate this clearly to them.
In addition, it is best to have your kids learn water-competency skills and take swimming lessons.
Having your pool requires you to take extra measures in order to protect your household, especially smaller kids and even your pets. Accidents could happen in just a split a second and most of the time, they could be easily avoided if homeowners took extra steps to enforce safety. Aside from having safety measures in place, as parents, make sure that the dangers associated with swimming pools are explained to your kids in an age-appropriate way.
Be safe and enjoy the summer season with your family!
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