Swimming pools bring to mind images of relaxing summer days with family and friends, soaking in the sun rays, and splashing around with the kids. Recently, however, new statistics have emerged that underscore the need for safety around swimming pools, especially for kids.
There are 10.7 million swimming pools in the United States. From 2005 to 2009, there were about ten deaths a day for unintentional, non-boating related drownings. Not only that, but the Red Cross conducted a survey that showed only 56% of Americans can perform the five core swimming skills. Here are three issues to consider for pool safety, from basic child safety skills to installing a pool safety gate and fence.
Children Often the Focus for Pool Safety Issues
Many of the statistics regarding pool safety have focused on children. About one in five who die from drowning are aged 14 or younger and 36% of children aged 7 to 17 years old swim at least six times per year (compared to 15% of adults).
This issue was recently the concern of the Arizona Department of Health Services, which issued a public notice that residential houses with children under the age of six must be enclosed with some kind of barrier — a pool safety gate, a swimming pool safety fence, or another kind of enclosure.
The Pool Safety Gate and Fence
Barriers like swimming pool safety fences prevent young children from gaining access to the pool area without a caregiver’s awareness. The different types of barriers include the pool safety net, the pool safety fence, and the pool safety gate, although a comprehensive system might opt for all of the above.
The type of pool safety fence has been shown to matter as well. A four-sided isolation fence, which separates the pool completely from the house and the yard, reduces a child’s risk of drowning by 83% compared to a three-sided fence. In fact, experts estimate that half of all swimming pool drownings among young children could be prevented with a four-sided isolation fence.
The pool safety gate is of particular concern. A pool gate should be self-closing and self-latching, with the latches out of the reach of children. Having this feature is an important step to having a child safe pool. Swimming pools safety can depend on a barrier surrounding the pool, especially when it comes to the health and safety of young children.