How Safe Is Your Pool?

Pool fun in the sun is one of the best parts of summer. Relaxing and swimming at the pool has many benefits for kids—developing social skills, increasing fitness, improving gross motor skills and engaging imaginations through fun and play. 
 

It's important that we keep swimming a safe experience for our kids and the kids of friends and neighbors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States sees an average of 3,536 non-boating-related drownings every year—about ten per day. About 20% of those drowning victims are children aged 14 and younger. Children aged one to four have the highest drowning rates of all—more kids in this age range die from drowning than from any other cause except congenital abnormalities, and most of those drownings occur in home swimming pools. So giving kids places where they can swim safely, under constant adult supervision, is crucial.

Fortunately, you can take several easy steps to help avoid preventable deaths in your pool. Teaching kids the basics of swimming, floating and dog-paddling, fencing off your pool, enforcing the use of life jackets or flotation devices for younger swimmers, getting certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and monitoring your pool at all times when it is in use are essential. These are just some of the steps that the CDC recommends to prevent child drownings. 
 

Below, we'll discuss pool safety in more detail and layout several tips you can follow to keep young swimmers splashing happily and safely in your pool. 

The First Line of Defense

The first line of defense in pool safety should always be the presence of an adult who is a skilled swimmer and can actively monitor children at the pool.
 

Here are a few steps you can take as part of your first line of defense:
 

  • Create a plan: If multiple adults are around, designate one adult to watch children for an appointed amount of time. Rotate through adults as needed.
     

  • Attend to children at all times: Never leave a child unattended, not even to grab towels, find goggles or get pool toys. If you notice a child is missing, look in the pool first before searching nearby areas. 
     

  • Take a CPR course: Taking a CPR course ahead of time is a great way to make sure you can perform the correct resuscitation techniques.
     

  • Always have safety items nearby: These should include a phone, first aid kit, flotation device and pair of scissors. Use the scissors to cut hair, clothes or a pool net if a child becomes entangled.

Prepare Your Kids to "Pool Safely"

Next, we want to tackle what information you should go over with your children before letting them jump in the pool.
 

  • Review basic water safety information: Sign up for a free water safety course—there are many—or review basic water safety tips with your kid. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) "Pool Safely" pool safety video for kids is a wonderful review tool. It covers basics such as learning to swim, not climbing over gates, staying away from drains and asking a grownup whether it's okay to swim before getting into the pool.
     

  • Create some family rules: These can include rules like "Never swim when a parent isn't home" and "Wait on a beach towel X feet away while Mom and Dad are getting ready." Kids should also never know the lock combination for the pool.
     

  • Warn kids about small, enclosed spaces: Kids should stay away from pool drains, pipe mouths and other openings to avoid getting stuck. It's also a great idea to look into drain covers.
     

  • Use the Pool Safely app: Pool Safely: Simple Steps to Save Lives is a national public education campaign launched by the CPSC to help diminish the numbers of childhood drownings, pool injuries, and entrapments. "The Adventures of Splish and Splash" is great for giving kids an interactive way to learn pool safety rules at their own pace. 

Ensuring Proper Pool Coverage

Ensuring proper pool coverage with a cover, safety net and/or safety fence is imperative for safety around your pool.

Pool Covers

Pool safety covers do much more than just keep your pool in good shape during the winter. Investing in a good pool cover can make the difference between life and death. A pool safety cover can help keep children from endangering themselves by swimming unsupervised.
 

Even if you're a pool owner without children, you should ensure that you're taking every measure possible to avoid the tragic accidents that could occur if neighbors' kids get into the pool. Though an adult should always be the first line of defense, pool covers can give you that extra bit of time to avoid accidents.
 

  • Important to note: Covers are intended for long-term use, specifically during the winter, when you close off your pool for an extended time. This is because covers are the most time-intensive pool-safety product to install and remove. Pool safety nets are made for short-term use, such as any time you're not using your pool during the summer. 

Pool covers come in two main types: mesh and solid construction. They are anchored into the pool deck and can then be pulled taut over the pool when the pool is not in use. A quality pool cover, correctly installed, anchored and pulled taut, helps keep objects from falling into the pool and prevents children from crawling underneath to enter the pool. Though pool covers represent an investment, the coverage and protection they provide, especially for long-term winter storage, makes them an excellent choice.
 

  • Mesh pool covers: These covers are typically the more affordable option, and their lighter weight makes them easier to manage than solid pool covers. Even though they are light, they can often support thousands of pounds of weight. They are made entirely of mesh, so the porosity of their material lets rain and a bit of dust into the pool, but they help keep solid objects like twigs and insects out. Mesh pool covers can also block a substantial majority of sunlight to slow algae growth. 
     

  • Solid pool covers: Though the vinyl material of solid pool covers is flexible, the covers are solid—they can prevent everything from small animals to raindrops from entering your pool. Water from snow and rain tends to collect on these covers, so they often feature a mesh drain in the center, as our models do. Solid pool covers can block nearly all sunlight to inhibit algae growth. 
     

It's essential to choose a pool cover that fits your pool precisely and to install it properly. It's also vital to keep your pool cover in good condition. Holes and tears provide openings where kids could slip through and drown. Check your pool cover frequently for signs of wear, and call for maintenance immediately if you discover areas in need of repair. 

It's also important to remember that pool covers are not substitutes for other protective measures, such as installing a secure fence around your pool and supervising your pool area when children are present. 

Feel Confident in Your Fencing

If you have a pool, your zoning laws may require you to install a fence around it. If so—or even if not—consider a self-latching fence. A fence around the pool is of little use if its gate is standing wide open, but a self-latching fence can close automatically and lock itself with a magnetic lock to keep small children securely away from the pool area. 

A young child can easily slip outside, fall into the pool and drown before anyone has realized what's happened. If you prefer not to use a pool cover that you must repeatedly take off and put on, or prefer double protection, a self-latching fence can help protect against these accidents.
 

Chain-link fences are easy to climb, so we recommend a mesh or vinyl fence that contains few horizontal slats where children could potentially get footholds for climbing. We also recommend a fence that has wide vertical slats and is easy to see through so you can keep a close eye on what's happening in your pool. 
 

WaterWarden's safety fences come in a mesh option for surrounding in-ground pools and a vinyl option for mounting on top of above-ground pools. Both options help prevent drownings by providing effective barriers to unsupervised pool access. Their extra-strong anchors make them sturdy and reliable. 

Pool Safety Nets

Looking into a pool safety net for your pool is a great idea as well. Pool safety nets are made from a woven material with gaps in the weave—think of the gaps in a chain-link fence. Like the safety cover, safety nets are pulled taut above the water and can keep kids out of pool. Due to their easy installation and removal, safety nets offer a reliable solution for times when your pool will see frequent use.

Keep Kids Safe With Pool Features From WaterWarden

This summer, gather up the kids' swimsuits, pool toys, sunscreen and floaties and get out for some sun-soaked fun in the pool. Just remember to keep kids safe in the pool this summer by getting them swimming lessons, monitoring them closely and using fun, interactive tools to teach them some basic pool safety rules.

This summer, gather up the kids' swimsuits, pool toys, sunscreen and floaties and get out for some sun-soaked fun in the pool. Just remember to keep kids safe in the pool this summer by getting them swimming lessons, monitoring them closely and using fun, interactive tools to teach them some basic pool safety rules.
 

Turn to WaterWarden to reinforce these lessons with protective pool gear. At WaterWarden, we are passionate about water safety. We offer more than 130 sizes of solid and mesh pool covers for maximum protection, and we can also custom-cut one to fit the unique size and shape of your pool. Our self-latching fences provide an effective external barrier to keep small children well away from the water, and our safety nets provide convenient pool coverage for the summer months. 
 

Find out where to buy our products online.