With the blistering summer heat right around the corner (particularly if you happen to live near the coast) it’s time to start thinking about one of summer’s most popular sources of entertainment-your swimming pool! There’s nothing like beating the heat by splishing and splashing in your very own backyard pool, without all the crowds, noise and non-potty trained toddlers at the community center. Having a pool all your own is a big responsibility, however, not only because you’re going to be spending money and time trying to maintain it but also because childproofing your swimming pool just became your number one priority.
Wait! Even if you don’t have kids, childproofing your swimming pool should still be a priority. Why? Because if the teenagers next door decide they want to sneak out in the middle of the night and do a little skinny dipping while you’re out of town and they happen to get hurt during their midnight rendezvous, it’s your fault. If your sister’s kids come to visit and one of them takes an unscheduled dip in the pool before they learn how to swim, it’s your fault. It doesn’t have to be your fault to be your fault, which is why even if your kids have flown the coop or you’re still enjoying life without the pitter patter of little feet childproofing your swimming pool should be a priority.
Parents, you’ve probably already recognized the importance of childproofing your swimming pool. The question is, how are you going to do it? Backyard swimming pools are big, and it’s not like you can just drain them dry and flip them upside down when you’re done with them the way you used to do with your children’s kiddie pools. Fortunately, there are plenty of products and options for childproofing your swimming pool that will make it almost as safe.
Child Proofing Your Swimming Pool
1) Install your swimming pool in the back yard, out of site of the street, and build a fence around it with a lockable gate to keep uninvited guests out and hide your pool from prying eyes, minimizing the chances of the neighborhood kids deciding to drop by for a dip.
2) Buy a swimming pool cover that covers the entire surface of the pool and can be removed completely to ensure that no one gets caught underneath it-but not too easily.
3) If you have a deck near your pool, invest in a net that wraps around the posts of the deck and blocks off the entrance to the pool. This stops children from slipping between the wooden slats and makes a great temporary blocker for visitors, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and babysitting charges. You can take it down easily when it’s just the adults at home.
4) Monitor your chlorine levels. Excessive levels of chlorine might just sting your eyes, but a child with sensitive skin can walk away from the pool with scald marks that can last the rest of the day-or worse.
5) Buy a net that can easily scoop toys off the bottom of the pool even when you’re not in it. Forgotten toys are an irresistible lure to young children.
Childproofing your swimming pool is essential for protecting both yourself and the people around you. Whether you hear the pitter patter of little feet every day or just once or twice a year, the investment will be worth it to protect you from the emotional and financial disaster that tragedy leaves in its wake.