Home swimming pools can provide endless hours of entertainment for young children in the warm summer months. However, if you live in a home with a pool, constant supervision is simply not enough to protect your child from drowning. There are extra safety precautions you can take at home to prevent a tragedy.
Here are a few ways to secure your home pool:
- Install extra safety locks on all doors leading to the pool so your child cannot open them without an adult present.
- Install a pool fence at least 4 feet high around all four sides of the pool.
- Make sure the fence safety gate opens outward from the pool and has a self-latching mechanism high enough that the child cannot reach. Your city or state may have regulations on how high gate latches must be—check with your local zoning department for ordinances that affect your area.
- Consider an alarm on the safety gate or exterior doors to alert you when someone opens the gate.
- Consider installing a surface wave alarm or underwater alarm to alert you if a child falls in as an added layer of protection.
Below are a few other precautions you can take to keep your children safe:
- Put away toys immediately after your child gets out of the pool. You don’t want the colorful objects floating in the water to entice your child back toward the edge.
- Keep lawn furniture a good distance away from the pool fence. A young child could potentially climb up the furniture and over the fence directly into the pool.
- Keep rescue equipment near the pool at all times in the event of an emergency. A shepherd’s hook and life preserver can literally be life-saving in an emergency.
- Keep pool and spa drains covered at all times with anti-entrapment drain covers. A child’s hair or bathing suit could become entangled in the drain, keeping the child trapped at the bottom of the pool.
Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 19, with toddlers and teenaged boys at greatest risk. Even young children who have had swimming lessons and know how to swim are at risk. However, with added layers of protection, you can prevent a tragedy.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, March 2020
- Pools are great fun, but even constant supervision isn’t enough to prevent drowning.
- Locks, fences, and even alarms can help reduce the risk of drowning of little children.
- Even children who have had swimming lessons are at risk, but toddlers and teenaged boys are at greatest risk of drowning.