Last year the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) created and uploaded a video to YouTube titled Simple Steps To Safer Pools.
Just yesterday the NDPA tweeted this video again and I was blown away by both the quality and well-thought out content of the video that I thought it was worth writing about.
In the video, Nathan – a firefighter and EMT for over 10 years, shares with us the steps and strategies to make your pool a safer environment and help you realize the risks that may exist.
Watching your children while they play in and around the pool is crucial, but it’s impossible to keep your eye on them for every single second. If you have an inground or above ground swimming pool, you should already have or invest in getting a safety fence. The proper fence height should be at least 4 or 5 feet with a self closing, self-latching gate. Child resistant latches, that are difficult for them to reach, should also be installed. Make sure the latch is at least 54″ off the ground.
Nathan also mentions to have the gate open AWAY from the pool. He says, “children are clever and may use a chair to try to get in.” The gate opening toward them makes it much more difficult for them to open, and when they let go, it should close and latch again.
All doors and windows leading to the pool area should be locked. Door alarms should be installed and turned on at all times. You can find very inexpensive, but effective door and gate alarms at your local pool supply store or hardware store.
Installing window guards, that limit the window opening to 4 inches, should be installed on all windows leading to the pool area.
During the winter when you close your pool, you should put on a pool cover. That may include a safety cover or just a tarp, but it’s important for off-season pool safety that you invest in a safety cover. If you don’t know what the difference is, a safety cover is strapped to the top of your pool using springs (check out the photo to your right). The idea behind it is that if someone or something – an elephant perhaps – were to venture on the cover, they or it wouldn’t fall into the pool water. However, children can still drown in small puddles of water.
It’s important to invest in a safety cover if you have an inground pool. Even better would be to invest in an automatic safety cover that you can cover with the flip of a switch. Automatic covers work year-round, so you can cover the pool when it’s not in use.
When choosing the perfect pool alarm, it’s important to remember that you get what you pay for. There are alarms on the market that you can purchase for well under $100, but it would be wise to purchase an alarm that’s top-rated, which may be more expensive – but hey, we’re talking about your children’s safety.
Check out this article at Good Housekeeping that recommends alarms that have passed their tests, including:
They also posted the pool alarms that failed their tests – I would certainly avoid those. You can read the entire article here.
Even if you have these covers installed, make sure no one plays with or around them. Also, be sure that these covers are in good standing – meaning no cracks or broken pieces.
The video also covers the rest of the Safer 3 initiative, including Safer Kids and Safer Response. I advise you to watch the entire video so that you can equip yourself with the knowledge and expertise when it comes to practicing proper water safety.
Don’t forget to check out our website to help teach your kids the basics on how to swim at: Learn2Swim.org.
Happy Safe Swimming!
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