Having a swimming pool in your backyard is one of the best ways to give the family a place to relax, exercise, and have fun. However, without proper planning, it can be a dangerous area, especially for kids. The leading cause of unintentional death among toddlers to 4-year-old kids is drowning. Most happen in residential pools and all are preventable. From floatation devices to a slip resistant pool deck, there are basic things you can do to make your pool area safe for kids.
Start with the Pool Deck
Before you get to the pool itself, start with the pool deck. Make sure that it is safe enough for the kids to walk on or lounge at. One danger of a wet pool deck is that it can get pretty slippery. Opt for a non-slip material, such as a spray knockdown finish, to make it slip-resistant but still comfortable underfoot. If there are cracks or pits, have them repaired the soonest time possible.
Invest in a Quality Pool Cover
Do not improvise a pool cover for the sake of covering the pool. Your cover should be designed to keep kids out of the water and be durable enough to support the weight of an adult. It should attach easily but securely, and always be free from accumulated rainwater to keep it from sagging and endangering a small child.
Keep Pool Equipment from Plain Sight
The pool equipment, which includes the heater and filter, should be housed in a small shed or behind some sturdy fencing. Kids are naturally adventurous and it is better to keep them from finding their way to something that could endanger them. If it is behind a door, keep the door locked. Keep electrical outlets covered and far from their reach. Opt for wireless speakers or radios should you wish to play music outdoors.
Make Floatation Devices Accessible
Have kids wear devices, like arm floaties or life vests, before they get into the pool. It is highly recommended to have such devices on the deck near the pool so the kids can spot them immediately and wear them.
Install a Cabana or a Large Umbrella
No matter how much sunscreen you put on a child’s skin, their skin is still at risk if they stay under the sun for long hours. Install or create a shaded area somewhere near or on the pool so kids can take a break from the heat of the sun.
Making the pool area kid-safe may require some research, a bit of investment and some elbow grease, but the safety of your children are more than worth it all.