Summer is just around the corner, and with it comes the opening of swimming pools. My husband and I recently purchased a home with a swimming pool and therefore have done a lot of research to ensure that our child stays safe. Whether you have a swimming pool in your backyard, or are planning to take your child to the pool for a fun day in the sun, here are the tips you’ll want to use to keep your little one safe.
Safety Gates and Pool Covers
Swimming pool covers are the safest way to ensure that a child doesn’t fall into the pool. Ideally, you want a cover strong enough to withstand a child walking on it without ripping or tearing. Retractable pool covers, such as this one from Leisure Pools Columbus are the most convenient choice, as they allow you to open your pool in the morning and close it at night, however they can be expensive, ranging from $300-$500 for the personally installed versions, and only go up from there for the professionally installed versions.
Most states now require swimming pools to be enclosed by a fence. For example, in Illinois, our home state, an in-ground pool must be enclosed by a fence that cannot be opened from the outside. However, as in our case, our backdoor to our house opens to the swimming pool, allowing our daughter easy access to our pool. While we plan to keep the door locked at all times, we figure you never can be too safe, so we installed a baby gate on the stairway going down to the pool. While it’s not always the most convenient for our guests, it keeps our little girl safe.
While we haven’t quite decided if we want to use an alert bracelet for our daughter, we have done some research on different systems. Our favorite is the Safety Turtle, which you can find on sites like Amazon for a little cheaper than direct from the vendor. Alert bracelets are actual waterproof bracelets that you put on your child that set off an alarm if emerged in water. Personally, I don’t think it’s necessary for our daughter to wear one of these bracelets all of the time, but we might plan to have her wear one when she is playing outside near the pool area.
While most parents understand the benefit of sunscreen and know that proper sun protection including protective clothing, eye wear and lotion are a must, parents with a home swimming pool need to be extra caution of sun protection. Children who grow up around water, such a pool or other body of water, tend to be exposed to harmful rays more than children who are usually more covered up in the summer months. I grew up on a lake, and my parents always insisted that I wear sunscreen every time I went outside, even if it wasn’t too hot. Believe it or not, the cloudy days allow powerful rays to still get through, and years of sun exposure can lead to serious diseases like skin cancer.
With the proper precaution, your children can enjoy a lifetime of family fun in your background.