When I was a child, I almost drowned in our home pool. Our parents had a nice-sized above ground pool surrounded by a deck that we swam in all summer. The deck used to get nice and hot under our feet and my sister and I loved jumping into the icy cold water as soon as our feet felt like they were on fire.
One day, our Mom left us on the deck with my older cousin. She was running inside to get us something. Maybe it was for ice pops. Or perhaps, it was for some cold juice. Whatever if it was – she was only going to be gone for a few seconds. Plus, our cousin was there – so what could go wrong, right?
Well, I went wrong. I decided to annoy my older cousin and spray him with a squirt toy. He got mad and shoved me. It was just typical kid stuff. But as he stomped off the deck to tell our Mom, I lost my balance and tumbled into the pool.
I must have hit my head because as the story goes, my little squirt of a sister (Daniele, to all of you who are regulars here on the blog) sprang into action. She wasn’t a very strong swimmer yet, so she grabbed her lifejacket, buckled it up, and jumped into the pool after me. Somehow, she managed to pull me up by my hair (A coincidence? Or was it little sister revenge?) and turn me right side over.
If it wasn’t for her quick thinking, I may not be here today, which is why we wanted to share these 5 Important Home Swimming Pool Safety Tips from Life Saver Pool Fence with you. Think of these tips as ways to build “layers of protection” around your home to help prevent pool drownings.
5 important home swimming pool safety tips
1.) parental supervision
Proactive parental supervision is the number one way to prevent drownings. Active supervision means sitting close to the pool with your full attention on the child/children. This means put the phone or book down and pay attention. We recommend designating at least one person as a “Water Watcher” and change shifts every 15 minutes. However, most drownings occur when a child was thought to be in the house. A parent was responsible for supervising the child in 67% of fatal drowning cases. So, supervision can and does fail, and which is why additional layers of protection are needed.
2.) Install high locks on all doors and windows.
Install locks way up high – out of the reach of children – on every door and window that leads to the pool area. Some drownings happen because a parent didn’t know their child had figured out the doorknob, so don’t rely on the door being shut. Any pet doors that grant access the pool should also be shut.
3.) Invest in a Pool Safety Fence.
Perhaps one of the most reassuring steps is installing a pool fence. Fences should be at least 4′ tall and have a self-closing, self-latching gate. Mesh pool safety fences, like Life Saver Pool Fence, has proven to be an effective layer of protection for over 45 years. With its transparent and aesthetically pleasing look, they are easy to remove when you want to.
4.) Buy a Pool Alarm.
You may not even hear a drowning; they tend to be silent. Alarms break that silence. There are many alarm options to choose from door/window alarms, alarms that sit in the pool, and our favorite, the Safety Turtle which is worn on the child. If the child falls into the pool, an alarm inside that house goes off.
5.) Enroll Your Child In Swimming Lessons.
As soon as a parent and pediatricians feel comfortable, all children should receive swimming lessons. Some organizations even offer training for infants to roll over and float, and to swim to the edge of the pool in case they fall in.
6.) Learn CPR.
As a precautionary measure (if all of the other layers of protection fail) parents should be trained in CPR. This training can make the difference between life, permanent disability, and death.