by Myles McMorrow, June 19, 2009
Swimming pools are a lot of fun, but if you have small children you have to worry about their safety.. Kids will be kids and they will always find themselves in trouble from time to time. Don’t let your kids find trouble in the pool while you are not around. A must with any pool is a pool safety fence.
Although in the pool industry we know not to just rely on just one safety device. We call this “layers of protection” It is using a 4 tier system to ensure child safely around pools.
# 1 Supervision - KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR CHILDREN!!!!!!
#2 Fence or barrier - A barricade blocking the pool from the yard - at least 4 feet high.
#3 Pool alarm - a last resort , an alarm that will sound in the house and pool side.
#4 Swim lessons- start them young. From just 6 months old! ISR Lessons
There are many styles of pool fences on the market these days, but before you buy one you must check your local codes. Yes, there are pool fence laws all across the country on all levels from state, county and even city codes. They all differ depending on where you live. Some you must have a 5 foot others a 4 foot. Some even regulate the size of the holes on the fence ( Kids can climb). Australia made a great leap and passed the world’s first country pool fence law and are actually sending out inspectors to every pool in the books - to make sure they are all up to code.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (www.cpsc.gov ) did a study on drowning in the USA .The results revealed that 75% of submersion victims were 1-3 years old, 65% of whom were boys. Accordingly, toddlers were more at risk because of their ever-changing capabilities and attempts at autonomy particular to their age group. Interestingly, swimming pool laws were somehow being followed as most victims were being supervised by one or more parent at the time of the accident. Moreover, these children were not expected to be near the pool 69% of the time and yet they were discovered in the water. Most of these submersion accidents happened in a familiar place—in swimming pools owned by the family (65%) and in pools owned by a relative or a friend (33%).
One finding reinforces how quickly submersion accidents can happen. It was said that a child can drown in the time it takes to read 3 sentences ( it only takes a few breaths of water) and that these children had been missing out of sight for merely 5 short minutes or less. The child's survival solely depends on prompt rescue and resumption of breathing since a precious second lost could lead to damaging the brain or worse, death. The CPSC research asks parents and pool owners to observe swimming pool laws, especially since child drowning is a silent and fast death where there are no signals.
The CPSC just launched a website solely dedicated to pool safety www.poolsafely.gov
There are many pool fences available with all kinds of styles to meet any home décor. They even have colored and removable fences. You can even buy them for above ground pools (required in many areas). A self-closing, self-latching pool gate is required by many locales, and is an option with many pool safety fence manufacturers.
Most types of pool safety fencing are removable and do require you to drill holes in your pool deck. If you do not want to do that you can put concrete footer on the outside of the deck and sink them below grade to hide them. Looploc has a rigid fencing system that attaches to the deck with the same brass anchors used to secure a mesh safety cover.
Fencing is not the most attractive pool accessory, let's face it. But it can save a life, and is a very effective barrier to unauthorized use of your swimming pool when used properly, and ... the gate is shut.
Shut the Gate, Save a Life!