Having a swimming pool in your backyard is a wonderful addition to your home – and family life in general. You probably spend many summer afternoons playing in the pool and enjoying your kids. But, pools are not all fun and games. Having a pool in your backyard is also a responsibility.
Each year, more than 250 young children in the United States drown, and thousands more are treated in emergency rooms following submersion incidents. Some of these submersions result in permanent brain damage. On a national level, drowning is a leading cause of death in children under the age of 5. The key to preventing these incidents is by having layers of protection.
Let’s discuss the things you should be doing each day to keep your family safe from drowning accidents.
Install a Fence around Your Pool
Some people simply install a fence around the perimeter of their yard, not their swimming pool. Ideally, you should have both areas fenced in. Fencing must be 4 feet high with no gaps larger than 3 inches. The fence should also be in good condition with no broken pieces that small children can wedge through.
Keep the fences locked at all times. Fences provide superior protection because they’re always there, unlike pool covers that are removed for extended periods of time.
Put Alarms on Doors
If you have doors that lead to the backyard, install door alarms that sound off when a door is opened unexpectedly. Door alarms do not have to be expensive, and they can be purchased online or from a local hardware store. Plus, they offer added protection since you don’t want your little ones wandering out without an adult in the first place.
Purchase a Power Safety Cover
A power safety cover can be purchased from most pool companies. These covers offer added protection when the pool is not in use in case your child or a neighbor’s child does wander over. Young children can drown in shallow water, too, so make sure that you prevent water from pooling on the top of the cover.
Keep Rescue Equipment Nearby
Make sure you have the necessary rescue equipment nearby the pool in the event of an emergency. You won’t have time to go looking for rescue tubes stuffed in a shed or garage if you find your child in the pool. Seconds count. Also be sure to have all emergency numbers clearly posted in the home. Knowing CPR is also beneficial; consider signing your family up for a CPR and First Aid class.