Use common sense — and pool fencing — to protect kids
With kids in the home and a swimming pool in the backyard, supervision is the No. 1 way to keep your children safe from injury or drowning. But supervision, by itself, is not nearly enough to ensure pool safety.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, of all the swimming pool accidents involving small children, 77 of the victims had been seen by a parent/guardian within the past five minutes. Almost 80 of swimming pool accidents occurred when both parents were at home and watching the child!
Experts at the National Spa & Pool Institute, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that pool safety barriers are always necessary. The fence should be a minimum of 4 feet high with a self-closing, self-latching pool gate. All Guardian pool safety fence systems meet these standards.
Pool safety checklist
Here is a guide for parents of children under 5. Common sense is the key to all of these pool safety recommendations.
- Doors leading to the pool should be kept locked and alarmed if possible.
- Install a safety barrier around the entire pool, so that the only reason to go through that barrier is to use the pool. This is a must-do for families with small children. If this isn’t possible, make sure your safety barrier prevents access from ALL doors, gates and windows leading into the pool area.
You must assume that a child will try to beat your pool safety system.
If you don’t think this is true, YOU ARE WRONG!
The reasons for this are very simple to understand
- A child does not know right from wrong.
- All children are attracted to the water/pool.
- A child does not know or understand fear.
- You can’t trust a child’s judgement.
Pool Safety Rules
- If a child can’t be found, immediately check the pool first. Time is critical!
- Establish a set of pool rules and ensure that everyone using your pool follows them.
- When having a party, designate a child watcher for pool safety. Adults become preoccupied when socializing and often assume someone else is watching the kids.
- Never consider youngsters “water safe” because they’ve had swimming lessons. There are NO water-safe children.
- Stay within sight and reach of children in, on or near water at all times.
- Active adult supervision is the primary layer of safety
- Always watch children closely when they are playing with inflatable toys or swimming with water wings or life jackets as these items do not replace active adult supervision for safety
- Encourage swimming lessons and first aid & CPR instruction for all family members and caregivers
- Restrict access to your backyard pool or spa and ensure that the four-sided barrier conforms to local by-laws.
- Refrain from propping gates open, or disabling alarms on doors that connect to pools or spas
- Encourage walking only around the poolside. Running is prohibited.
- Always enter pools feet first
- Do not use slides on above ground pools
- Drain all backyard wading pools after use
- No one should ever swim alone. Teach your children to use the buddy system. Since children learn by example, parents should follow these pool safety tips too.
- Learn CPR. Anyone responsible for children, such as babysitters, should know CPR. Because of the time it takes for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills can make a difference in someone’s life.
- Radios, CD players and ALL other electrical equipment should be kept away from the pool area.
- Toys and games should not be stored or left near the pool. The lure of toys near the pool is much too inviting for children.
- Keep a phone and rescue equipment handy in the pool area. Make sure they work.
- No drugs or alcohol when you plan to use the pool.
- Never dive into a spa, above ground pool or the shallow end of any pool.
- Keep all chemical products away and out of reach from children and other unauthorized individuals.
- Stay out of the pool during thunder and lightning storms.
In the event of an emergency, call 9-1-1.
Please supervise your children at all times — and install a Guardian removable safety pool fence around your pool.
This guide is courtesy of www.safetypoolfence.ca 1-877-233-8965
Please feel free to copy and distribute this “Safety Rules” list to your friends and neighbours!
Remember, teaching your child how to swim DOES NOT MEAN your child is safe in water.