Owning a pool and having children can be a dangerous combination if you do not take steps to insure your children’s safety. Most parents know a few safety tips, especially when it comes to fencing off the pool. However, there are many other dangers that you need to watch out for if your children are to remain safe and still have fun in the pool this summer.
Fences - By county law, most U.S. citizens are required to put a fence around their pools, especially if a small child lives in their house. Make sure that the gate in the fence remains locked at all times when you are not using your pool, and make sure the keys to the gate are in secure location. Try to install a fence that is six feet high or higher because most children see fences as challenges and will readily practice their climbing skills to get over one. Make sure yours is tall enough to prevent that. You can find your communities’ fencing requirements at your local county offices.
Alarms – A door alarm is a great way to make sure that your children are not sneaking into the pool, especially if you have a small child in your household that likes to try doorknobs. There are many good wireless door alarms that will do the trick, insuring that no one goes into the backyard without you knowing it. Another great device is a pool alarm. Poolguard alarms are currently the best on the market, according to Good Housekeeping Magazine. They make a loud beeping noise if anyone or anything falls into the pool. Best of all, normal surface tension from wind or fallen leaves does not set it off.
So, if your child, one of the neighborhood kids, or the cat next door falls into the pool accidentally, they can be fished out and saved in no time.
Pool Covers – Pool covers are very important, and yet they can be very dangerous as well. Hard pool covers that completely cover the pool like a shell are the best. However, soft covers are less expensive and the most common. Watch out for these, as children can fall onto them and get tangled up, unable to get out. Also be careful with electric or automatic pool covers. More than one story has been told of a child accidentally hitting the cover controls and becoming trapped in the pool underneath the cover.
Leafy Plants - Leaves might not seem like a big problem, especially if they provide shade to an otherwise sun-blasted pool area. However, small wet leaves can be slipping hazards for children and adults alike. Trees with small, slick leaves and some forms of flowering plants are not good for your pool area, not to mention the fact that these trees will wreak havoc on your pool filters.
Wooden Block – One good idea, especially if you live outside the city, is to place a medium-sized wooden block in your pool when you are not using it. Make sure it is large enough to float and to support a few pounds of weight. The wooden block will ensure that small animals that fall into your pool will be able to climb back out without assistance and before they drown.
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