Statistics reveal that almost 400 children under 15 years old drown in spas and swimming pools for children every day, which translates to one kid daily. Of these numbers, 300 are under 5 years old. Unfortunately, 87% of these fatalities take place at residential spas and pools.
Drowning is the main cause of unintentional day for kids aged 1 to 4 years old, and sadly, each one of these cases could have been prevented.
However, it is not only about the children knowing how to swim. Several of these incidents even involve capable swimmers who got entrapped by the pool drain. There were also around 60 deaths due to electrocutions and about 50 serious shocks around and in swimming pools recorded since 1990.
But these accidents shouldn?t happen in the first place if several layers of protection are put in place. If you have a spa or pool at home or you are planning to build one soon, here are some safety measures you can take to prevent untoward incidents that may involve your own kids or those of your relatives or neighbors.
Use Automatic Pool Covers
An automatic pool cover is the easiest method to use although it is also the most expensive.
Automatic pool covers are built and designed to the specific dimensions of your swimming pool and work with a mere touch of a button. These covers can cost you $6,000 and above, depending on the features, configuration, and size.
Assign a Water Watcher
Safety measures are never enough to replace adult supervision. Experts recommend designating one adult who will have the sole responsibility of watching children in spas and swimming pools for children.
This adult shouldn?t be someone busy reading, texting, or doing something else. You can assign one adult to work in shifts for 15 to 30 minutes before passing it on to another adult.
It is also important to remember that drowning in real life isn?t the same as what you can see in movies. No calling for help or splashing happens here. Children can go down the water silently and quickly.
Enforce Barriers and Other Types of Safety Measures
It is recommended and even required in most jurisdictions to put up some kind of barrier around the pool, whether in the form of a safety net or fence, even if there are no children in your home.
You never know when a neighborhood kid will end up wandering over to check out your swimming pool or your friends bringing their little ones over for a swim.
Put Up Fences
Removable fences are among the most common and popular safety barriers for swimming pools. These fences come in different materials and styles and should be non-climbable with a height of at least 4 feet to 5 feet. The gate must also be self-latching and self-closing. It should also swing away from your pool to prevent kids from pushing it open once it falls to the latch.
These fences must be see-through as well, like glass, wrought iron, or chain link. These also shouldn?t have any niches or footholds that can make it easier for children to climb over them.
Since all local and state jurisdictions impose different regulations on pool safety for things such as barriers, if any, the homeowners are responsible for educating themselves on what should and can be done to keep children safe around pools. They also need to ensure that they only buy products that adhere to the regulations.
It is a reality today and many homeowners are now being prosecuted because of neighborhood kids drowning in their pools and they are unfamiliar with pool codes.
You can save a life when you know what to do if you find an unresponsive kid or even an adult in a spa or swimming pool. Although it is generally a great skill to learn how to perform CPR, it is vital if you are a spa or pool owner. It is another layer of protection you can implement together with the rest of the tips in this article. You never know what method will work until it actually does.
Install Mesh Covers and Safety Nets
Mesh covers and safety nets have been in use for the past 15 years or so. All you have to do is secure a mesh cover or net to anchor around the pool. Since they need a bit more time to install and remove, these are a better option for people who use their spas and swimming pools for children often.
Put Door Alarms
- It is recommended that even when you already have an automatic cover, safety net, or fence, it is still important that you use an alarm for the doors that lead to the pool area. It is especially critical if your house serves as the fourth side to the barrier that surrounds your pool.
- These door alarms must have a unique sound that is different from the other alarms you use around the house, the phone, or the doorbell. This way, you will know right away when someone opens the pool door.
- You should forget the pet doors, too. Curious kids may end up slipping through these openings. Some local jurisdictions also require that doors that lead to pool areas shouldn?t have pet doors.
Teach Children How to Swim
Many people seem to think of swimming as a way for kids to have fun in the summer or a great exercise to keep them fit. However, teaching them how to swim can make a big difference in saving their lives.
Children who don?t know how to swim are more at risk of drowning by up to 70% higher. It is also important that when a child is missing, the spa or pool should be checked first before anywhere else.
When it comes to spas and swimming pools for children, there is no such thing as the best answer to what safety measure you should use. But still, using one or more will always be better to be safe than sorry.