Pool Safety Checklist: Childproof Your Pool

This article comes from Angie’s List.

Pool Safety Checklist: Childproof Your Pool

According to the CDC, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional, injury related death behind motor vehicle crashes. Additionally, the American Red Cross reports more than 200 children drown in backyard pools every year.

A lot of pool-related accidents are preventable. Follow this checklist to childproof your pool and ensure everyone enjoys the water safely.

Swimming lessons and pool rules

Invest in swimming lessons, or take the time to personally teach your child to swim. Children as young as 6 months can take some sort of water orientation or swimming class.

And just as you have house rules, you need to set pool rules. Among them should be no running, no swimming without supervision, and any inexperienced swimmers must wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets when in the pool.

Consider pool alarm systems, fences and gates

Set an alarm to go off when any doors or gates leading to the pool open. Aside from house alarms, make your child wear a wrist alarm. It looks like a watch, but will sound when it gets wet. You can also install a pool alarm that detects movements and disturbances in the water.

Construct a 4-foot fence around the pool, or call a professional to install a fencing system for you. Use a secure gate with a self-closing latch to keep the young ones out of the water.

Also, securely attach a safety cover to the top of the pool when not in use. Keep water from collecting on top of the cover. A child can drown in just a couple inches of water.

Additional emergency preparedness for the pool

Stow pool chemicals away in a locked area. Maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration.

Ensure your household is equipped to deal with water emergencies by having the proper rescue equipment, such as a safety ring buoy or rope. Enroll the family and caregivers in water safety, first-aid and CPR courses. Stay up to date on certifications.

Remove ladders, stairs, slides and diving boards from the pool when it isn’t in use, if at all possible. These only entice a child to go into the pool. If removal isn’t an option, cover them with some sort of barrier.

Install anti-entrapment safety drain covers. A pool or spa service professional should be able to help you with this.

Keep them off the deck or away from the pool when you aren’t using it.

Nothing beats an undistracted adult monitoring the pool. If you can’t be that person, designate someone you trust to keep a watchful eye over your children when they’re in the water.

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