There is nothing better during those hot summer days than lying beside your pool with a cold drink and listening to your kids at play. But this serene scene can quickly take a turn for the worse at any moment. Most toddler deaths by drowning are caused by backyard pool accidents, but luckily we have advice to help you avoid that from happening.
Have a pool cover
You want to avoid the possibility of your child falling in the pool at all costs, so make sure that you are installing as many safety features as possible. The more you have, the less the risk of tragedy. We recommend installing a rigid pool cover that prevents anything from accidentally falling in the water. They are useful not only during colder months when the pool is not in use, but you should keep the pool covered when swimming time is over, or at least overnight.
Invest in a drain cover
Were you aware that even adults can get stuck and drown if their swimsuit or hair gets sucked in the pool’s main drain, let alone children and toddlers? Various newly-introduced laws that make drain covers mandatory in public and spa pools have almost completely eradicated entrapment-related deaths. But private pool-owners are not compelled by law to install them. If you have a backyard pool, make sure that your pool service provider updates your drains with anti-suction covers. Your pool should also have at least two drains per pump since that will reduce the powerful suction is one drain gets clogged.
Install a pool fence
Most importantly, the best and smartest safety feature you can install around your pool is a fence. It may not be the most attractive accessory to your backyard, but a black pool fence is much more attractive than the sight of a drowned child. We recommend a four-side fence, even if it is not mandated by law, since it is the safest. The best fences are those that are self-latching and at least 4 feet tall.
Talk with your kids
Besides installing anti-drowning safety features, keeping a close eye on your children, and making sure that everything is up to date, it still takes a split second for disaster to strike. It is crucial that your kids have proper pool etiquette. This means no roughhousing in the pool or fighting, especially if there are younger children around. Also educate your kids to stay away from the pool when there are no adults around, just like they would stay away from traffic or strangers. Lastly, make sure that you do not let your kids or their friends to run around the pool, especially if you have tiles around it. A child can easily slip on wet tiles and fall inside, so make sure that does not happen. Also, kids can be very deliberate in what they set their minds to, and they can find a way inside in a split second. It is always a good idea to invest in swimming lessons. That way you lessen the chances of them panicking if they fall in the water, and they would at least be able to call for you.
Insist on water watchers
If you are having a get-together in your backyard or a pool party, always insist that you have a designated water watcher, and take turns with other parents on who gets to keep an eye on the kids and pool area. Even if you are inside and the pool is out of use, kids can still get all sorts of ideas, and may somehow end up in the water. This is why one person at a time should be in charge for a couple of minutes and pay extra attention, because if everybody is watching – then no one is watching.
There are many safety precautions you can take to prevent pool-side accidents from happening in your backyard. The most important are installing a fence, investing in pool and drain covers and educating your children about proper behavior inside the water and out. By following our advice, you are much more likely to avoid any tragic event.