Swimming Pool Safety Guidelines

From the USA...

WARNING: According to the American Institute for Preventive Medicine, drowning is the fourthh leading cause of accidental death in the USA. One-third of the 4000 annual deaths are children under the age of 14. The Foundation for Aquatic Injury Prevention adds that around 5000 children 14 years old and under must be hospitalized annually due to near-drownings; sadly 15 percent die in the hospital and an estimated 20 percent suffer permanent neurological disability. Yes, even those who survive are often not the same happy children they were before. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns parents to stay alert - a child can drown in the time it takes to answer the phone. Child pool safety is serious business. Parents and pool owners should take a moment to read these tips for child swimming pool safety from the AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS:

  • Never leave your children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment. An adult who knows CPR should actively supervise children at all times.
  • Practice touch supervision with children younger than 5 years. This means that the adult is within an arm's length of the child at all times.
  • You must put up a fence to separate your house from the pool. Most young children who drown in pools wander out of the house and fall into the pool. Install a fence at least 4 feet high around all 4 sides of the pool. This fence will completely separate the pool from the house and play area of the yard. Use gates that self-close and self-latch, with latches higher than your children's reach.
  • Keep rescue equipment (such as a shepherd's hook or life preserver) and a telephone by the pool.
  • Do not use air-filled "swimming aids" as a substitute for approved life vests.
  • Remove all toys from the pool after use so children aren't tempted to reach for them. (How many people egt lazy and forget thbis one?)
  • After the children are done swimming, secure the pool so they can't get back into it.
  • A power safety cover that meets the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) may add to the protection of your children but should not be used in place of the fence between your house and the pool. Even fencing around your pool and using a power safety cover will not prevent all drownings.

...and from Canada

The Children's Safety Association of Canada also offers these tips for swimming pool safety:

  • Keep lifesaving equipment next to the pool. Don't allow people to play with it, or allow it to be misplaced.
  • Decks should be made of a non-slip surface. They should be kept clean and clear of debris. All cups, glasses and dishes should be non- breakable.
  • If the pool is used at night, it should have enough lighting that the bottom of the pool is clearly visible.
  • Make sure any electrical appliances or devices are protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter, in case they come in contact with the water.
  • Beware that inflatable toys and mattresses can deflate.
  • Only one person should be on the diving board at a time. Don't allow people to swim under the board while it's in use.
  • Go down the slide feet-first only.
  • Don't swim immediately after eating a heavy meal.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Stay out of the water during lightning or rainstorms.

Swimming Pool Safety Fence Installation Companies

Child pool fence installation by members of the North American Fence Builders Association

If you own a swimming pool, you will want a child pool fence. It is truly tragic when a child drowns in a swimming pool, which is why most communities require a safety fence around every swimming pool. Even if a pool fence is not required in your community, you have a responsibility to protect children from drowning. A pool safety fence also keep animals out. Nobody wants to wake up to a dead rabbit or racoon in their swimming pool.

Wherever you live, there is an approved fence installation company or contractor ready to build you a custom child pool fence for your property.

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