When the hot days of summer come along, the kids are going to be playing outside more. This is where childhood memories are made with backyard adventures, treehouse clubs, and newly invented games to play with friends. Yet according to the American Red Cross, over 200 young children tragically drown every year in their backyard swimming pools.
Although above ground swimming pools are somewhat safer from a design standpoint than their in-ground counterparts, backyard safety must still be a priority for families with children. These safety tips can help you be able to prioritize safety while still keeping play time fun during the summer.
- Have appropriate barriers to entry in place. Many above ground pools use a set of stairs or an A-frame ladder/step combination to enter the pool. If you remove this accessory while the kids are in the backyard, you’ll make it more difficult to access the water surface.
- Place a cover over your pool. A safety cover over your pool will help to keep curious hands and feet from climbing up and over the frame to access the water surface. If you have an outdoor hot tub, it’s a good idea to cover that as well. Some families may even wish to consider installing an alarm on their pool cover as an added measure of safety.
- Keep children under supervision. If you are watching your kids, then it becomes less likely that they will enter the above ground swimming pool. You can also designate someone to watch the kids, rotate shifts with others, or formulate some other method of active supervision that works for your needs. If in the swimming pool, make sure toddlers and young children are not swimming alone.
- Consider swimming lessons. Many communities offer swimming lessons and water orientation classes that are based on family income and need. Some may even be low-cost or free. This will give your children the knowledge of what they need to do when they are in the pool so there is a lesser risk of a tragic situation occurring.
- Establish safety rules. Above ground pools can be quite sophisticated today, so make sure your backyard swimming pool has specific rules established for it. This may include diving restrictions, staying away from filters or drains, buddy swimming, and other rules that make sense for your family. If a rule is broken, make sure the consequences of that action are known by all so that enforcement is expected.
- Keep the swimming pool clear and clean. Make sure that the water in your swimming pool is sanitary by maintaining a proper chemical balance. Use filtration and circulation if offered by your pool. Test the water at least once per week to avoid possible health issues.
These above ground pool safety tips for children are designed around one thing: common sense. Drowning can happen in only inches of water, so every pool is a potential tragedy in the making. By taking proactive steps to lessen that risk, summer can be more about fun and being outside without worrying about what might happen.