Your swimming pool is probably your biggest home investment. It is the focal point of your backyard, gives you hours of recreation, and is your favorite place to relax. You may look upon it as your personal adult playground and hangout. That being said, your perspective of your oasis may do an about-face when you bring children into the picture. Say you just found out your grandchildren are coming to visit. Perhaps you are throwing a party and some of your guests plan to bring their small kids. Or, a family with young children just moved in next door. Suddenly you view your prized retreat with some trepidation. Is it a safe place for kids? What could you do to keep the little ones out of harm’s way? Drowning prevention is a subject Molinari Pools is deeply committed to. We would like to share some ideas on how to kid-proof your swimming pool.
Fencing is the First Line of Defense
Pools provide kids with hours of fun, but the fact is, most drownings occur when the child isn’t even swimming. They wander into the pool’s proximity when unsupervised, or perhaps even gain access from a neighbor’s yard. Fencing on all four sides of your pool is the very best way to prevent a child from entering your pool area. The fence should be at least four feet high and not have any openings which a child could squeeze through or protrusions that would allow them to climb over it. The fence should have a gate that is self-closing with latches above a child’s height. Setting up the gate with an alarm is another precaution. It goes without saying that the gate should never be propped open.
Add Layers of Protection with a Pool Cover
Keeping your pool covered when you are not using it is an additional layer of protection. For a rectangular pool, a rigid cover that fits securely over the pool’s entire surface is your best option. You want a cover that provides an “isolation” barrier that prevents accidental entry into the pool on all sides. An automatic pool cover is easy to operate and can be put into place with the push of a button when the pool is not being used.
Pool Safety Nets Are a Great Option
A pool safety net is a great option for irregularly shaped pools for which an automatic pool cover may not work. A pool net is a barrier that is stretched over your pool and is secured by flush-mounted fasteners. They meet strict ASTM safety codes and Florida barrier requirements. Safety nets are extremely effective in keeping children from entering the pool. Pool nets are also easily put into place and quick to remove.
There is No Substitute for Adult Supervision
Never leave children alone near a pool or hot tub. There is no substitute for non-stop close adult supervision to prevent the drowning of young children. Put down your phone, don’t lose yourself in a book, skip the alcoholic drink, and avoid any distractions that could lessen your attention on monitoring the activities of the children in your care.
Give the Gift of Swim Lessons
The risk of drowning can be reduced by as much as 88% if children are taught to swim at an early age. Molinari Pools is a member of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance. We passionately believe that teaching children to swim is one of the top priorities in lessening the risk of drowning. The gift of swim lessons to a child, grandchild or other young person in your life is a gift that will last a lifetime. Not only will they benefit by gaining strength and confidence in the water, but a person who knows how to swim may also pass the skill on to others.
Pools have a powerful pull on little children. That glittering blue body of water is very attractive to a small toddler or curious preschooler. We all want to enjoy our pools and appreciate the benefits they add to our lives. However, we must also be aware of the risks our pools present. There are many measures we can take to make our pools a safer environment. We urge you to give yourself some peace of mind by following these tips on how to kid-proof your pool. If you have questions on pool fencing, pool netting, and other pool-safety measures, don’t wait to call Molinari Pools for more information.