Backyard pools are almost essential in California where the weather is fairly nice all year. But having one opens the door to liability.
The Department of Developmental Services stated the leading cause of death for children aged five and younger is drowning. As a homeowner, you must make sure your pool is not a hazard that could lead to an accident.
Fence it in
Erecting a sturdy fence around your pool area is paramount. The fence should be at least four feet high with a self-closing, self-latching gate that opens outward. This physical barrier serves as a deterrent, preventing young children from accessing the pool unsupervised.
Maintain constant vigilance
Active supervision is irreplaceable. Never leave children unattended near the pool, even for a moment. Designate a responsible adult as the designated “water watcher” during gatherings or playdates, ensuring that eyes are always on the water.
Use floatation devices
While they are no substitute for supervision, life jackets can provide an added layer of safety, especially for young or inexperienced swimmers. Make sure only to use proper devices and not floaties, which do not provide a safe floatation option.
Educate your kids
Teach your children about pool safety from a young age. Make sure they understand the dangers of the pool and the rules for using it. Emphasize that they should never swim alone and should always ask for permission before going near the water.
To prevent unsupervised access, keep toys, chairs and other objects away from the pool. These items can tempt curious children to climb over the fence, creating a potential hazard.
Install and use alarms and pool covers
Consider installing alarms that can alert you when someone enters the pool area. Additionally, pool covers can be effective in preventing accidental falls. However, make sure you buy a safety cover that can hold up if someone falls or walks on it.
By implementing these proactive measures, you can create a safe environment for your children to enjoy the pool. Remember, pool safety is a shared responsibility that rests on the shoulders of parents, caregivers and the community as a whole.