Are you considering putting in a new pool? Maybe you’re feeling hesitant because you have kids and you’re worried about potential risk. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can mitigate this risk and keep your kids stay safe so you can enjoy the fun of having your own pool.
Remember, no child should ever be left unsupervised near a pool. While these recommendations will help reduce risk, the best way to keep kids safe around a backyard pool is to make sure that a responsible adult is watching them at all times.
1. Provide Swimming Lessons
Swimming lessons are a great idea for all children—regardless of whether you have a pool in your yard. Knowing how to be safe around water is an important life skill. Plus, swimming is a great form of exercise, and lessons will help ensure that your child learns good form and technique as well as strategies for safety such as treading water and floating.
2. Learn CPR
Safety lessons aren’t just for kids. All adults in the household (as well as older children) should know how to perform CPR. You can find lessons through the Red Cross, the YMCA, or your local fire station.
3. Install a Gate
Pools are attractive to everyone, especially children, and unfortunately, a neighbor’s child may see your pool and decide to check it out. You can avoid this by installing a fence with a locking gate. In fact, this may be required by your homeowner’s insurance, so check your policy to see what your responsibilities are. Your local pool company can provide options for gates so you can see what’s available.
4. Use the Pool Cover
Your pool cover serves as much more than a “blanket” to keep debris out of your pool. It also prevents kids (and animals) from getting into your pool when it’s not in use. Purchase a good quality cover and make sure the pool is covered when you aren’t using it.
5. Keep Safety Equipment Close at Hand
Your safety equipment should be kept right next to the pool and easily accessible at all times. Take a pool first-aid course to make sure you not only have all the necessary equipment but also know how to use it.
You should have all of the following available:
- Coast-Guard Approved Life Preservers, Life Jackets, and Personal Flotation Devices
- A First-Aid Kit
- A Rescue Hook
Teach your kids that these items are not toys. Older kids, however, can and should be taught how to properly use these items.
6. Install a Pool Alarm
Various types of pool alarms are available, so pick the one that’s right for your kids and your family. Some alarms are specific to the pool while others are worn by the child. You can also put an alarm on your gate so that you’ll know if it opens.
7. Talk With Your Kids
Don’t expect your kids to learn pool safety by osmosis. Have regular age-appropriate conversations with them about how to be safe around pools and other bodies of water. If you need help, talk to your child’s swimming instructor for guidance on appropriate topics and how these should be best approached to instill respect for the water without causing unnecessary fear.
That said, it’s important to recognize that all the talks in the world won’t necessarily keep a curious child from investigating a pool or using poor judgment, so make sure that these talks are in addition to the other items on this list.