Kid Safe Pool
I have recently retired from active pool building. Instead of building three to four hundred pools a year I now help to build thousands, online. Between my participation on pool forums, my contact form and my ask the pool pro page I am becoming the online above ground pool expert.
Part of being a pool expert is following all of the news pertaining to above ground pools. Google sends me an email every time above ground pools are mentioned on the internet.
I can stay on top of the industry by following the links in these emails. Anything I find that is noteworthy I bring back to this site. Shortly after I started doing this I became aware that the most talked about swimming pool news was about children drowning.
Many times during the day I check my email only to find another child has drowned in a swimming pool.
Above ground pools are great for family fun. They are great for cooling off in. They are even great for a late night swim with your significant other. They are also great places for your youngsters to wander off to when no one is watching.
How do they get in? Most above ground pools come with safety ladders. Most of these ladders allow the outside rungs to either swing up or be removed. Are you doing this every time the pool is not in use?
Do you have a deck next to the pool without a locking gate? Is your filter equipment close enough to the pool that a child could use it as a step up to get in? Could they use your lawn furniture as a ladder?
If your child were to somehow get into your pool would he drown or swim to the ladder and get out?
The message is broadcast across the airwaves daily, on radio and TV, watch your children around water. This is very true but sometimes our little darlings escape us, even just for a few moments.
Gazette.net had an article today where they said that 77% of all drowning victims were out of sight for five minutes or less. They went on to say that a child can drown in the time it takes to answer the phone.
My wife and I, and our two year old daughter, were in the mall one day. A clown came up to us and made our little girl a balloon animal. We thanked him and turned to walk away. An instant later we noticed our daughter was not with us. Panic, or can we say major panic. We looked everywhere and could not find her. My wife went to find a security guard while I went out the front of the store and, just following a hunch, went into the store next to the one we were in. The first thing I saw was the clown. The next thing I saw was my daughter right next to him, following her new best friend. All it takes is a moment.
That same little girl could swim before she could walk. My second daughter may have been three before she completely got the hang of swimming on her own. It was not because I did not try. To this day I think she could could swim just fine but she was milking the daddy time for all it was worth.
I have always been part fish and teaching my girls to swim was easy. If you own a pool make sure your kids know how to swim. Take them to lessons if you need to. It does not matter how old they are, any child, any age can learn to swim.
Now, let's make a kid safe pool.
What can above ground pool owners do besides watching your kids around water and teaching them to swim? Every pool should have a fence around it. They make resin safety fences that attach right to the pool or pool safety fences that anchor into the ground. A chain link fence does a good job, make sure it is high enough and has a locking gate.
Over the last couple of years many new pool alarm devices have come on the market. I have even seen a wrist band a child can wear that will sound an alarm if it gets wet. Pool alarms are inexpensive enough that no pool should be without one.
Winter covers are another way to child and pet proof an above ground pool. If you spend just a touch more money on a good one it will secure to the outside of the pool with a cable, wench and a place for a padlock. I have thrown my kids and pets out onto mine for testing purposes. They all came back to me just fine with no damage to the cover.
The next time my Google alert tells me there is something about above ground pools I need to read, make sure it is not your child I am reading about. Have fun and have a kid safe pool.