The Northeast of the USA is home to tens of thousands of pools, and whether it’s “pool season” or you are moving into the off season, the basic strategy to preventing pool drownings is “layers of protection.” One of those layers is you as the Parent – you as the family member – or you as a Homeowner – we advise that you think about safety year-round, even when you think drowning is least likely to happen.
In fact, drownings are more common than you may realize. New Hampshire Water Safety reports that drowning is tied with motor vehicle traffic deaths for number one as the leading cause of death in children ages 1-14. Additionally, it is reported that for each drowning death, at least 1 in 4 children suffers a serious nonfatal submersion event, which in some cases leave children with permanent disabilities according to ParentingNH. The website also reports that many parents (1 in 5) falsely believe that air-filled water wings can prevent a drowning from occurring.
Today let’s just focus on your backyard. It should be a safe haven for children not a danger zone. Having a pool in your backyard poses obvious dangers, especially during the summer months, which is why a pool fence is a must for any homeowner in New Hampshire who owns a pool. Drownings are one of the leading causes of deaths in children which means that you need to consider pool safety in every season. It’s important to keep in mind that just because your pool has been closed for the season, doesn’t mean a drowning can’t occur in your home.
If you don’t have a pool fence already installed around your pool, you may want to consider doing so now. Winter pool safety is as important a summer pool safety, it just looks a bit different. While our pool fences can remain in place all year round, there are still some things you need to consider in regards to drowning prevention even with a pool fence.
We suggest taking what we call a “safety audit” of your backyard. What this means is taking a walk through your yard and examine it for potential risks. Develop a checklist you can use (we will write one soon for this blog). If you have young children these risks might be objects in the yard that are close to the fence and can provide unsupervised access to the pool should they climb on. This may include a table or chairs, or even a storage bin. With older children, you need to take this one step further and consider objects that they can drag over to the pool area to gain access like ladders or other similar objects. If such objects are in your yard, you should consider locking them inside a storage shed to prevent your child from accessing them.
You also need to remember to keep children indoors and monitor exit areas like doors (e.g. door alarms) and windows (e.g. window wedges). Children can get out, even when you think you have instilled “rules” in them; “rules” are not enough. Children break rules, even the most wonderful children. This can be particular safety risk for children who experience developmental or other challenges.
You’ll also want to take steps to add additional layers of protection for your pool in addition to a pool fence, which can include:●
- Pool Alarms
- Self-closing, self-latching gate
- Pool gate locks
- Pool safety covers
You can opt to use all of these additional layers of protection in conjunction with your pool fence, or choose one or two additional layers. The truth of the matter is, there can never be enough layers of protection when it comes to the safety of your family, which is why it is advisable to implement as many layers as possible.
A weight-bearing pool cover, for example, will not only keep debris out of your pool but also will support the weight of a person should they walk on the cover. While a locked pool gate is often enough to deter children from entering the pool area. If you suspect a lock won’t be enough installing alarms on your pool that will alert you to a disturbance in the water is another great option.
Pool safety is something that needs to be taken seriously all year round, even after your pool has been closed for the season. You can rest assured that the mesh pool fences from Life Saver Pool Fence is the best available and can withstand even the harshest winter. If you need to install new pool fencing, contact us today at (877) 606-7233.