Your backyard pool is a magnet for summer fun. But fun can turn tragic in a heartbeat if you aren’t vigilant about pool safety. Drowning is the #1 cause of injury-related deaths among kids age 1 to 3, and it’s the #2 cause among kids under 15. The little ones are at highest risk around backyard pools.
It takes just seconds for a child to jump or fall into the water and sink to the bottom. And every parent knows their toddler can disappear from view exactly that fast. Experts say teaching kids under 4 to swim doesn’t prevent drowning, because they can panic and they lack the strength and coordination to pull themselves out of the pool.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your children safe and give yourself greater peace of mind.
So let’s make this the Summer of the Safe Pool
These tips will help you worry less and focus on fun:
- Never take your eyes off your child around the pool. If you must leave the area, have someone else watch, or take your child with you. Don’t read, chat on the phone, etc., because you’ll be distracted.
- Be aware that “arm floaties” and other inflatables do not prevent drowning.
- Don’t leave attractive toys in the pool.
- Secure your pool. Install a minimum-4-foot fence with a self-closing/self-locking gate that opens outward. Install an anti-entrapment drain cover.
- Install a rigid (preferably motorized) pool cover, and use it at all times when you aren’t in the pool.
- Investigate the various electronic alarms on the market. Look for one that alerts to motion under the surface, because surface alarms are easily set off by wind or debris disturbing the water. There is even a type of alarm children can wear like a watch.
- Take a CPR class, and insist any babysitters know CPR, too.
Think of these tips as layers of protection when it comes to keeping your kids safe around your backyard pool. The more precautions you have in place, the lower the chances of disaster. If you’re planning a pool party, hire a lifeguard. That way you and other parents can enjoy the party knowing there are extra eyes on your kids.
Drowning isn’t the only potential danger
You want your kids to be safe playing around the pool, too. Concrete coping, patios, and other hard surfaces are great for fending off chlorinated water. They’re easy to rinse off with a hose, and they dry pretty quickly. But hard surfaces are not great when it comes to barefoot-friendliness.
They are slippery when they get wet, and they aren’t as smooth as they look – how many times did you stub your toes around the pool when you were a kid? Ouch! Hard surfaces get hot, too, absorbing and reflecting the sun’s rays. Ouch again.
Installing artificial grass around your pool is a better way to go. It is not slippery when wet. Water drains away quickly, and the turf dries fast. Fake grass is cooler on the feet as well as the environment. And it feels soft and, well, grassy, underfoot.
And while we’re talking about child safety . . .
If your little ones have a designated play area, they’ll be safer if you install Heavenly Greens FallSoft artificial grass as a flooring. This system is specially engineered to cushion falls from as high as 5 feet.
With careful pool precautions and supervision – and an assist from Heavenly Greens – you can keep your kids safe around your backyard this summer. Last one in is a rotten egg!