When the location of a home daycare or other business is a residence that includes swimming pool ownership, the pool can raise safety and liability concerns. Many factors affect the level of risk, but almost any pool at a home daycare that is readily accessible from the residence, and ready to use, poses a risk that can be reduced to increase the children’s safety.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists drowning as the primary cause of unintentional death for children 1-4 years old. A residential swimming pool is a common site for these drownings.
Pool Safety Tips for Home Daycares
A simple twofold strategy can reduce drowning risk: adopting safer pool practices, combined with implementing pool safety products. This is an ideal strategy for a daycare located in a residence, where residential pool ownership can be a potential issue. If you own a home daycare that has a pool, the pool safety tips below could help prevent a drowning that is tragic for everyone involved.
1. When the Pool is Not In Use, Apply a Pool Safety Barrier
A pool safety barrier blocks pool access with a physical barrier that requires considerable diligence to remove. This level of deterrence makes using the barrier one of the most important pool safety tips for protecting everyone. A Safe Pool offers three types of barriers, with custom measurements:
Removable Pool Fencing
Our removable pool fencing is made from durable, lightweight panels with aluminum frames and synthetic mesh. The mesh is transparent, allowing you to maintain a clear view of the pool when the fence is up. The fence takes only a few minutes to raise or remove. It can also contain a self-closing, locking gate that lets you leave the fence in place, and uses a gate to access your pool at any time.
Pool Safety Nets
Made from strong, synthetic mesh, our pool safety nets contain holes that are too small for the head of an infant to fit through. Pool water is visible through the net, but the net forms a web of safety that prevents children from entering and being submerged. Because the holes are small, using the net is also one of our pool safety tips for protecting many types of pets.
Pool Safety Covers
Our pool safety covers are made from a resilient, synthetic weave that is strong enough to support the weight of an average adult. Also serving as leaf pool covers, they completely occlude a view of the water. This makes using our pool safety covers one of the top pool safety tips for protecting kids; the cover keeps the water out of children’s sight, which helps keep it out of mind.
2. Apply Door Alarms to Doors that Access the Pool Area
When a home business residence includes pool ownership, applying aftermarket, battery-powered alarms to doors that access the pool area is a cheap, easy way to deter drowning risk. Home improvement stores carry effective alarms that start at under $20.
Strong adhesive backing is used to mount the compact units in place. When an alarm-equipped door is opened, it breaks connection signal within the alarm, instantly triggering a loud, high-pitched alert. The adhesive backing makes it easy to apply the alarm near the top of a door, far from a child’s reach. With no screws to apply, the door suffers no damage.
As long as you replace the batteries in your door alarms on schedule, and you’re within hearing distance of the alarm sound, you should always be aware when a child opens a door that leads to the pool. Applying door alarms is perhaps the least expensive of all pool safety tips.
3. Avoid Using the Pool for Playtime
Most children unintentionally drown in a swimming pool due to accessing the pool on their own. This condition, under which most drownings occur, is the greatest predictor of fatality. However, even when adult supervision reduces the threat, the periodic frequency at which a child enters a pool can also heighten drowning risk, depending on the level of supervision.
When a pool at a home daycare is used for playtime, children typically enter the pool as a group, bristling with excitement that leads to frenetic activity in the pool. The behavior can diminish the quality of supervision. Each child needs to be constantly monitored for safety. However, in a home daycare setting, two adults often monitor a group of at least ten kids.
As also happens in drownings at public pools that swash with active bodies, a swimmer can slide beneath the water’s crowded, splashing surface, and go unnoticed for minutes. Will CPR jolt responsiveness into the body retrieved from the bottom of the pool? If so, will the person suffer brain damage?
The questions are too serious — and the answers too uncertain — to be a potential result of playtime in the pool. When you’re caring for someone else’s children, safety is indeed the best policy. For home daycares, one of the most risk-reductive pool safety tips is also one of the simplest: keep playtime on dry ground.
4. Avoid Using the Pool Patio for Playtime
One of the pleasures of pool ownership is relaxing on the patio that surrounds a pool. If the area is used to let a group of daycare children play, chairs and other nice accessories must be pushed aside to prevent trip-and-fall injuries, — and a rule of “no running” to prevent kids from tripping and falling on the hard patio surface will be tough to enforce, as it always is for youngsters at play.
The hassle alone is reason enough to avoid using the area for play. However an elusive , more serious danger exists: being in such close proximity to the pool stimulates kids’ interest in entering the water, and emboldens them to do so. Because toddlers instinctively perceive adult authority, they also realize that absence of an adult presence gives them greater autonomy.
This perception, combined with a heightened interest that playtime in the pool area can create, promotes the one “intentional” aspect of unintentional child drownings: a child purposefully wandering to a pool, when no adults are around. Of the pool safety tips here, this one may be the most subjective, but its importance is clear: not using the pool area for playtime deters children’s interest in the pool, which deters them from pursuing the pool on their own.
Safe Kids Equal Successful Businesses
The main job of any daycare is to provide safe care for children. Offering safe care is critical to both children’s safety and the success of daycares. For home daycares and businesses that include pool ownership, practicing the safety tips above helps provide quality care that’s good for everyone involved.
If your daycare has a swimming pool that needs a pool safety barrier to reduce child drowning risk, contact A Safe Pool today to schedule a free estimate.