With the warm weather now in full swing, people have begun opening their pools for the summer. While pools are a great way to escape the heat, there are things you must consider to be sure your summer oasis is safe.
Fencing is a must, and pretty much a no brainer for pool safety. If you have an in ground pool with no fence, you are asking for trouble. However, what most people do not consider is that door leading from their home to the pool area. Fences are great for keeping out unwanted visitors, but what about those who are already in your home? The time it takes for a child to wander out the door and to fall into the pool can be less than a minute, by the time you realized the child is missing and run to the pool, a tragedy may have already occurred. Be sure all doors leading to your pool area have alarms that sound when someone passes through the doorway.
Diving boards and slides are also common pool accessories. Diving boards were the norm for many pools, but as time went by they were deemed dangerous and slides were viewed as a safer alternative. While it is true that jumping off of a diving board the wrong way could cause that person to hit their head on the side of the pool, people do not often consider what kind of damage can be done if someone climbs the slide’s ladder only to slip off of the last rung and fall back onto the cement. Yes slides are closer to the water, but if you never make it to the end of the slide then you are guaranteed to land on an unforgiving piece of concrete. At least with a diving board you are surrounded with water. There are inherent dangers with either option, so it is best to avoid them altogether if possible.
Above ground pools should always have a removable ladder stored under lock and key, or a ladder that folds up and locks into place so it cannot be used without being unlocked. Once again, these are things most people think of when discussing pool safety for above ground pools. What people don’t often consider are those small inflatable pools that are only a couple of feet deep. They are very common nowadays, and I cannot tell you how many of them I see sitting in a yard unattended with absolutely no protection around it. A child can drown in less than a foot of water, so leaving a 3 foot deep pool filled with water in your backyard with no fence is a recipe for disaster. These pools should be treated with the same caution and care as any full size in ground or above ground pool.
I know it seems like I am taking the fun out of a summer lounging poolside, but taking the time to install the appropriate safety measures before the pool season starts will help ensure a disaster-free summer.