With summer’s arrival, the thought of that dip in the pool is a very tempting prospect.  For children, it is even more tempting and dangerous.  It then comes as no surprise that the National Safety Council reports that the number two cause of injury-related death among children is drowning. About 1000 children drown each year and another 4000 are hospitalized for near-drowning. Many of these tragic events could be prevented by the installation of a pool fence or barrier.

Most county and townships have specific requirements for a perimeter fence around a yard containing a pool.  Those requirements have to be met to the letter.  However, if your yard is like most, it does double duty in the summer, housing a pool and also a play area.  While nothing can replace a parents vigilant supervision, there are a number of products on the market that can make things a little safer and offer a little more peace of mind.

Pool Fences:

Fence it in. Pools should be completely surrounded by fencing material at least 4 feet tall. Chain link fence works,  A slatted fence should have no gaps wider than 4 inches, so kids can't squeeze through. Gates should be self-closing and self-latching. The latch should be out of a child's reach.  There are several fencing options available specifically for keeping children out of the pool and harms way.  Click here to view some of these options that are actually endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Pool Barriers:

One pool cover called Katchakid has actually gotten the ALA (American Lifeguard Association’s endorsement.  A Katchakid is a custom net system which covers the pool in a net which is too small for a child to stick a head through, but still allows you to chlorinate the pool as needed without the other issues a full pool cover would cause.  The net is made of a rough UV resistant product that is uncomfortable for little children to walk or crawl on.  Thusly, a child is prevented from crawling on or getting into the pool. 

Another recommended option is an alarm system, something as simple as an alarm on the gate of the fence that surrounds the pool.  Also available are pool alarms which are activated by motion at the pool level.   

Keep rescue equipment by the pool and be sure a telephone is poolside with emergency numbers posted nearby.  It is also a good idea to remove toys from in and around the pool when it is not in use. Toys can attract young children to the pool. Wile there is nothing on the market is more vital to your family’s safety than your vigilance.  Supervision is key around the pool and while children are playing outside.