Having children around your pool means a level of constant vigilance is required. As a pool owner, you’re responsible for them, and should anything awful happen to the children that are using your pool you may well be held accountable. Child safety in and around your pool is easy to achieve with only a few steps to take. Here’s 8 tips to improve child safety in your poolside area:
1. Constant vigilance. Always watch children in and around your poolside area. If you’ve looked after children before then you know that they can move fast and get themselves into trouble very easily. There is no substitute for your being there to watch the children who are playing in your pool. All other considerations are supplementary to this. Keeping everything you need close by so you don’t have to rush inside, even for a minute, is also a good idea. Have your telephone outside with you or simply don’t answer it when you’re outside watching your children.
2. Fencing. By law you are required to erect a fence or barrier around your pool. This needs to be at least 1200mm high with a distance of 900mm between any horizontal bars. This is to prevent children from climbing over your fence to use your pool (even when you’re not there). You also need to make sure there’s nothing near your fence that children could use to climb up and over it into your pool. Check with your local authority on pool fencing requirements for your area.
3. Gates. Many pool fences come with safety gates and you need to make sure yours is childproof. Gates need to be self closing with a latch high enough that children cannot reach it unassisted. If you’re particularly worried you can install a gate alarm as an additional deterrent. Never prop your gate open
4. Pool covering. Having a pool cover over your pool when it’s not in use is a great way of both deterring children from sneaking in and will also offer some level of resistance should they fall in. Always make sure you have your pool cover properly fitted to your pool and tie it down if you can.
5. Chemicals. The chemicals you use in your pool – primarily chlorine – are very dangerous. Hiding them away in a shed or locked cupboard will keep them away from curious little hands.
6. House your pump. Pool pumps and filters should be similarly hidden away. They are on the whole not too dangerous for children but if you’ve set timers and have your system running the way you want it, you’re going to want to avoid unintentional sabotage from your children.
7. Keep toys away. Try to discourage children from bringing toys into your poolside area (unless they’re specific pool toys). If a particularly interesting toy truck falls into the water a child may very well fall in trying to reach it.
8. Learn CPR. Take a course in first aid and CPR so you know exactly what to do should something go wrong and the unthinkable happen. When you have small children around your pool having fun, there’s always an undertone of danger and potential disaster. But by keeping to a few strict rules and following a few guidelines you can rest assured that the children using your pool are having a great, safe time.