Some things most people with small children do not realize when purchasing a home with a swimming pool:
- Most children who drown were in their own home, only out of sight for five minutes, and in the care of both parents.
- Drowning is the fourth leading cause of children under five-years-old (leading cause in California, Florida, and Arizona).
- Fifteen percent of children admitted to hospitals for a near-drowning die in the hospital, and many that survive develop brain damage.
Having a pool and small children does not have to be something parents have to be constantly worried about, but there are measures that must be taken for safety reasons.
First and foremost, build a fence around the pool that is at least five feet high. Make sure that the fence divides the pool and the rest of the house and yard. The gates should also incorporate self-latches that are out of the reach of the children. It is also wise to install a pool alarm to sound whenever someone goes in when it is not being used. It is also important to have locks on covers so kids cannot open them and fall in.
When in the pool with children, never let them be out of sight or left alone for even a second – even when in floaties. Also, keep safety equipment and a telephone nearby in case of an emergency. When out of the pool, remove all toys to keep children from reaching for them.
Enroll children in swimming lessons as early as possible. Explain pool rules properly such as no running, no eating, and no glassware by pool. Remove small children and those who do not know how to swim if rough housing will be taking place. Anyone who owns their own pool should enroll in CPR classes.