Backyard pools can be great for kids of all ages. Swimming is a fun Summer activity that also gives kids the opportunity to exercise and spend some quality time with their families and friends. But it’s important to stay safe any time your kids or their friends enjoy your pool.
Throughout the country, hundreds of children under 5 years old drown in pools each year, many in pools that their families own. That is why many neighborhoods and communities have comprehensive safety regulations that govern how aboveground and inground pools can be laid out and secured with gates and fencing.
Of all the top swimming safety tips for kids out there, proper supervision is the key to keeping kids safe. Other than that, let’s take a look at some ways pool owners can keep their pools kid-friendly.
Vital Swimming Safety Tips for Kids
- Use the Buddy System: Kids are always safer in pairs or groups.
- Don’t Leave Young Kids Unattended: Never leave young children unattended or unsupervised in a pool area.
- Stay Focused When Supervising Kids: Don’t turn your back, even for a second. Don’t leave the pool area even if you know you’ll be back in a hurry.
- Always Know How Deep a Pool Is: Don’t allow kids in the deeper end of the pool.
- No Running: Pool areas can be pretty slippery when wet. Don’t let kids run around the pool.
- Watch for Safety Risks or Faulty Equipment: Keep kids far away from the pool if there are problems with electrical components or underwater lighting systems.
Supervision is Key
Constant supervision is vital to keeping kids safe. Even if you yourself aren’t watching the kids while they swim, ensure a neighbor, a family friend, or babysitter knows how to use all of the protective devices and barriers you’ve set up.
Remember, the main swimming safety tip for kids: Never leave them unsupervised! If you’re having a barbeque or summer party, always ensure someone is assigned to watch any kid swimming.
Every couple minutes, just do a quick scan to see if all kids are present and accounted for. If there are any missing and you know they haven’t left the pool area, check the pool water immediately. Every second counts when it comes to saving a life or keeping kids safe from injury. Always check the walls, bottoms, and pool surfaces. And even if the kids you’re watching have had swimming lessons, remember that they still need to be supervised.
CPR and Emergency Services
Parents, babysitters, and other caretakers such as grandparents and older siblings should take CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). This is most often observed through timed chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. For more help with this, reach out to your town or city’s public health department. Most communities hold regular classes on CPR. Take advantage of any and all local resources that can keep you prepared and vigilant when it comes to kids and pool safety.
Aside from CPR, always ensure there’s at least one mobile phone in the pool area so that you can call emergency services if needed.
Use Proper Pool Barriers & Fences
Many states, counties, and towns have ordinances for residential pool fences and barriers. These are fundamental to keeping outdoor spaces safe for your entire family.
While they’re not entirely childproof, pool fences and barriers provide several layers of protection, especially if kids like to roam around on their own. Generally, pool barriers include fences, door alarms, and power safety covers. These can also be used to prevent kids from reaching hot tubs and spas.
Fences and Gates
Install a wood, wire, or cement fence that completely surrounds the pool. If the house itself opens up the pool area, any doors leading in and out should be protected with a motion-sensing alarm.
When it comes to vertical fences, wooden slats should be fewer than 4 inches apart so that kids can’t squeeze through. For chain links, ensure the diamond-shaped openings are no larger than 1.75 inches. However, wooden and chain-link fences can be pretty costly.
Self-latching gates are effective safety devices as long as their specs are in-line with keeping kids away from an unsupervised pool area. Generally, the release mechanism for your pool gate should be 3 inches below the top of the gate on the side facing your pool. The gate and barrier should not have any openings greater than half an inch, within 18 inches of the latch release. The goal here is preventing young kids from reaching through your gate and releasing the latch themselves.
If you’re put off by the cost of permanent fences, consider removable pool fences. These are versatile upright barriers that feature self-closing, self-latching, key-locked gates. They’re also made to be used no matter the weather.
Pool Safety Covers
Invest in an ASTM standard pool safety cover that’s durable enough to practically walk across. When it comes to safety covers, you’ll want to get one that’s fitted perfectly, with no gaps so that children and small animals can’t slip under.
Let’s say your house directly opens onto a patio or backyard with a pool. If this is the case, then doors leading to this outdoor space should have alarms triggered by the motion of the doors opening.
This alarm should ideally be something that only an adult can disarm, with a keypad or switch that’s installed tall enough to be out of a young child’s reach.
Keep Your Family Safe
A Safe Pool has decades of experience keeping families safe through installing custom pool safety and maintenance products, all backed by long-lasting quality and strong warranties.
We specialize in the following:
- Pool Safety Fences (with Self-Closing, Self-Latching, Lockable Gates)
- Pool Safety Nets
- Pool Safety Mesh Covers
- Automatic Pool Covers
- Leaf Pool Covers
- Pool Alarms
We’re proud of our professional knowledge and insights, and we’re confident that we can be the pool safety experts who can help you and your family. Your pool should be a calm, safe place where you can relax and unwind, and all that starts by investing in the best pool safety equipment.