As much fun as having a pool may be, one thing is for certain: having a large body of water in your backyard presents a serious safety hazard unless proper steps are taken. Depending on the age of the child, parents and care takers need to maintain a level of supervision and awareness. This includes taking into consideration:
- The level of swimming experience a child has
- The number of children and adults who are in the pool
- The age of the child or children
CHILDREN AGES 1-6
Children who are between the ages of 1 to 4 are at the greatest risk for drowning, and oftentimes supervision alone isn’t enough to prevent it (CDC). Not only should these children be outfitted with appropriate floatation devices (i.e. a lifejacket for children 20lbs or more), but parents and caretakers should be in the pool with their child and remain within an arm’s reach at all times.
CHILDREN AGES 7-13
Kids in this age group often now have taken some form of swimming lessons and are also old enough to fully understand and possibly adhere to proper pool safety guidelines (i.e. no diving in the shallow end, no running on the patio, staying away from the pool filter). That said, it’s still imperative that parents supervise the children to make sure that the safety rules are being followed at all times.
CHILDREN AGES 14-18
Most children are now tall enough to touch the bottom of a 4-5 foot deep pool, are strong swimmers, and are mature enough to adhere to safety guidelines without constant reminding. Parents and guardians should still supervise and provide appropriate floatation devices.
More than anything, prevention is key when it comes to poolside safety. Make sure that a fence of 4 feet or taller surrounds the pool, and that it includes a self-latching, self-closing gate (with latches that are too high for youngsters to reach). Outfit the gate with an alarm, and invest in a pool cover that’s rigid and firm so children can’t fall on top and become enveloped in it.
About Burton Pools & Spa
For 37 years, Burton Pools & Spas has been the premier provider of swimming pools, hot tubs, and outdoor recreation equipment in Northwest Arkansas, Eastern Oklahoma, Southwest Missouri and just about everywhere in between. Burton Pools creates beautiful backyard environment that brings friends and families together for outdoor fun and memories that will last a lifetime.