pool should have a pool alarm to prevent unwanted
entry into the
water. Pool Alarms
save lives every year by sounding an alarm
when a child
a dog (or other medium sized pet) gets
into your swimming pool. Think "safety first" and
puchase a pool alarm for your inground or above
ground pool. There are several
of pool safety alarms available as well as
door alarms and gate
offers Poolguard, Smartpool, Swim Alert, Espio
Terrapin brands of swimming pool alarms.
We encourage everyone to learn CPR and
a CPR sign near the swimming pool. Avoid the
heartbreak of a drowning by
layers of protection. In other words, you may
wish to use both a pool
door alarm, a pool
gate alarm and a Swimming Pool Safety Alarm
to reduce the risk
of a child or pet entering
on Swimming Pool Safety
Following are just a few
facts uncovered by the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC) in a comprehensive
study of drowning and submersion incidents
involving children under 5 years old in Arizona,
California, and Florida.
• Seventy-five percent of the submersion victims
studied by CPSC were between 1 and 3 years
old; 65 percent of this group were boys. Toddlers,
in particular, often do something unexpected
because their capabilities change daily.
• At the time of the incidents, most victims
were being supervised by one or both parents.
Forty-six percent of the victims were last
seen in the house; 23 percent were last seen
in the yard or on the porch or patio; and 31
percent were in or around the pool before the
accident. In all, 69 percent of the children
were not expected to be at or in the pool,
yet they were found in the water.
incidents involving children usually happen in
familiar surroundings. Sixty-five
percent of the incidents happened in a pool
owned by the child's family and 33 percent
of the incidents happened in a pool owned by
friends or relatives.
• Pool submersions involving children happen
quickly. A child can drown in the time it takes
to answer a phone. Seventy-seven percent of
the victims had been missing from sight for
5 minutes or less.
• Survival depends on rescuing the child quickly
and restarting the breathing process, even
while the child is still in the water. Seconds
count in preventing death or brain damage.
• Child drowning is a silent death. There's no
splashing to alert anyone that the child is
Pool Safety Tips - The following barrier recommendations
are the result of identifying key parameters
that typically contribute to child
drowning in backyard pools. These recommendations are
the minimum steps you can take to make your
home a safe place for your child.
Barriers are not childproof, but they provide
layers of protection for a child who strays
from supervision. Barriers give parents additional
time to locate a child before the unexpected
becomes a reality.
Barriers include a fence or wall, door
alarms for the house, and a power safety cover over
the pool. Barriers also may be used to protect
children from accessing hot tubs and spas.
Use the following recommendations as a guide:
FENCES & GATES
• Install a fence or other barrier, such as a
wall, completely around the pool. If the house
is part of the barrier, the doors leading from
the house to the pool should be protected with
an alarm or the pool should have a power safety
cover. Alarm and cover details are below.
• The fence or other barrier should be at least
4 feet high. It should have no foot- or handholds
that could help a young child to climb it.
• Vertical fence slats should be less than 4
inches apart to prevent a child from squeezing
Use this as a guide when the release mechanism
is located less than 54 inches from the bottom
of the gate.
• If horizontal members are equal to or more
than 45 inches apart, vertical spacing shall
not exceed 4 inches.
• If the fence is chain link, then no part of
the diamond-shaped opening should be larger
than 1-3/4 inches.
• Fence gates should be self-closing and self-latching.
The gate should be well maintained to close
and latch easily. The latch should be out of
a child's reach.
• When the release mechanism of the self-latching
device is less than 54 inches from the bottom
of the gate, the release mechanism for the
gate should be at least 3 inches below the
top of the gate on the side facing the pool.
Placing the release mechanism at this height
prevents a young child from reaching over the
top of a gate and releasing the latch. Also,
the gate and barrier should have no opening
greater than 1/2 inch within 18 inches of the
latch release mechanism. This prevents a young
child from reaching through the gate and releasing
There are a wide variety of fencing construction
materials available to compliment your house
and pool surroundings. Your local fence company
or pool enclosure company can provide you with
information and assist you in making a selection.
The weak link in the strongest and highest
fence is a gate that fails to close and latch
completely. For a gate to close completely
every time, it must be in proper working order.
• If the house forms one side of the barrier,
then doors leading from the house to the pool
should be protected with alarms that produce
an audible sound when a door is unexpectedly
• Install an alarm that can be temporarily turned
off by an adult for a single opening of the
door by using a keypad or switch that is out
of a child's reach.
Battery and electrically powered alarms are
available. The key pad switch can be used by
adults who wish to pass through the door without
setting off the alarm. It should be placed
high on all doors leading from the house to
the pool. Affordable and easily installed alarms
are available. An alarm signal immediately
tells a parent that a door has been opened.
POWER SAFETY COVERS
• Power safety covers over the pool may be used
as an alternative to door alarms. A power safety
cover should meet the requirements of the ASTM
pool cover standard which addresses labeling
requirements and performance. ASTM requires
that a cover withstand the weight of two adults
and a child to allow a rescue should an individual
fall onto the cover. The standard also requires
quick removal of water from the cover. A young
child can drown in just inches of water.
A power safety cover is a motor powered barrier
that can be placed over the water area. Motor-driven
covers easily open and close over the pool.
When the power safety cover is properly in
place over the pool, it provides a high level
of safety for children under 5 years old by
inhibiting their access to the water.
NON-POWER SAFETY COVERS
will find a variety of polypropylene swimming
pool safety covers that can literally
be walked across. They are anchored to the
deck or area surrounding the swimming pool
and provide peace of mind, especially in the
Fall and Winter months were they are typically
being used. Also known an mesh safety covers,
these pool barriers are usually removed for
the swimming season, thereby removing the protection
during this time. Swimming pool safety covers
made from polypropylene are configures to fit
the pool shape and come in either 5 foot or
3 foot strapping distance.
• Steps and ladders leading from the ground to
the pool should be secured and locked, or removed
when the pool is not in use.
Pool Rules – found on About.com - Instruct
babysitters about potential pool hazards to
young children and about the use of protective
devices, such as door alarms and latches. Emphasize
the need for constant supervision.
Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool.
During social gatherings at or near a pool,
appoint a "designated watcher" to
protect young children from pool accidents.
Adults may take turns being the "watcher." When
adults become preoccupied, children are at
• If a child is missing, check the pool first.
Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
Go to the edge of the pool and scan the entire
pool, bottom and surface, as well as the pool
• Do not allow a young child in the pool without
• Do not consider young children to be drownproof
because they have had swimming lessons. Children
must be watched closely while swimming.
• Do not use flotation devices as a substitute
• Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
Babysitters and other caretakers, such as grandparents
and older siblings, should also know CPR.
• Keep rescue equipment by the pool. Be sure
a telephone is poolside with emergency numbers
• Remove toys from in and around the pool when
it is not in use. Toys can attract young children
to the pool.
• Never prop open the gate to a pool barrier.
Pool Safety Online
Red Cross – Pool and Water Safety information
APSP – The
Association of Pool & Spa Professionals
Swimming – Teaching
babies to swim
Children’s Safety Zone -
Protect your children around the swimming pool
CPR & First Aid – Learn
CPR & First Aid online
CPSC – Consumer
Product Safety Commission
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