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How to Child-Proof Your Swimming Pool

Having a pool at your home can provide endless entertainment for your family, but there’s also the ever-present danger of injury and drowning, especially for young children. The privilege of a beautiful swimming pool comes with the responsibility of protecting those around you from harm. Adopt these pool safety practices below to ensure the well-being of swimmers of any age.

pool safety tips for children

Follow these steps to keep swimmers safe while they are in the pool:

  • Maintain adult supervision of children in the swimming pool at all times.
  • Store a first aid kit in proximity to the pool for the treatment of minor injuries.
  • Keep life preservers, kickboards, rope, and a pole in the general vicinity of the pool for easy access.
  • Learn CPR, and encourage all adult members of your house to become certified as well. The city of Austin provides training in CPR to residents. Learn more.
  • Create a list of pool safety rules, communicate them to young swimmers, and post them on the pool deck.
  • Install a rope in your pool to separate the shallow end from deep water, and make sure one of your pool safety rules for small children is to stay in the shallow area.
  • Check the chlorine levels of your pool regularly to make sure they are not irritating swimmers.
  • Enroll your children in swimming lessons. It’s never too early to start – even infants can learn to roll over and float on their backs. For more on early childhood swimming lessons, check out ISR (Infant Swimming Resource)  or Emler.

Abide by the following to preserve the safety of swimmers while they are around the pool:

  • Clear the pool deck of anything that might cause someone to trip and fall – toys, shoes, large objects, etc.
  • Enforce a policy of no running or pushing on the pool deck.
  • Don’t bring any glass or electric appliances into the pool area.
  • Make sure all swimmers wear sunscreen and take breaks from swimming to avoid overexposure.
  • Store the pool heater and filter in a fenced-in area of no less than 5 feet, and keep all pool chemicals out of a child’s reach.
  • If you have a particularly slippery pool deck, consider covering it with a non-slip coating to guard further against injuries.

Protect your family from drowning by making it nearly impossible for them to enter the pool without your permission.

  • Add extra locks and latches to the exterior doors of your house, to prevent children from exiting the house without your knowledge.
  • Tell children not to access the pool unattended. Ask older children to alert you if a younger child is in the pool area without supervision, or attempting to get into the pool.
  • Even if you have a fence around your backyard, you are also required by the City of Austin building code to enclose your pool with a fence that is at least 4 feet high and has a self-latching gate. There are many different types of pool fences to choose from, including mesh, iron, and vinyl fencing.
  • Install a cover for your pool as an additional layer to keep swimmers out. Popular covers include mesh covers, which can support the weight of a child, and motorized covers, which can be opened and closed easily after each use.
  • A pool alarm can assist in detecting movement in a pool. Floating alarms, underwater alarms, and wristband alarms that children can wear are all available on the market. For any pool alarm, also plan to purchase a remote receiver so you can access the alarm inside your house with the doors closed.
  • Set up door alarms and fence alarms to alert you when a door to your home or the gate to the pool fence has been opened.
  • If you have an above-ground pool, remove the ladder when the pool is not in use.

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