Having a pool is the epitome of luxury to many people, but it’s also a serious responsibility. Pools may be centers of summer fun and fitness during the day, but they can also be a dangerous liability. Unintentional drowning accounts for up to 10 deaths in the U.S. every day. That’s 3,533 deaths a year. Scariest of all, one in five people who die from drowning are children under 14. Considering the fact that most Americans think they can swim well and how preventable swimming pool related incidents are, this should come as a surprise.
If you plan to invest in a pool, you also need to invest in the safety of your family. Pool safety covers, pool safety gates, and pool fences are not only an absolute necessity, but just the beginning of pool safety.
Here are just a few things you should know to ensure your pool is safe:
- Pool fencing should be built at least four feet high, if not much higher. This can also have the added benefit of protecting your pool from wildlife.
- Pool safety gates should have self-closing and self-latching gates. All latches should be out of reach for children.
- Pool safety nets should cover the entire pool. Covers and nets aren’t just there to keep the pool clean and block debris; they’re there to save a child or person should they fall in accidentally. A gap — however small — could allow a child to enter the water and prevent them from getting out.
- Pool fences should be four sided. Otherwise, there’s nothing to stop a child from walking around it. Research shows that more than half of all drownings in swimming pools could have been prevented by four sided fencing, which was found to decrease the chance of drowning by 83%.
Education is a big safety measure. Make sure your children are strong swimmers and know pool safety protocol. Having them help with the shopping and installation of your new pool cover or safety gate is a great way to engage them and reinforce the importance of pool safety.
No matter what, don’t pinch your pennies on the important stuff. The fencing and gates that will save lives.