A swimming pool is very enjoyable and extremely fun to have when the weather is nice. Young children are especially attracted to water. It sparkles, it’s refreshing, it can be ingested, things float on it, and it splashes and makes noise when you smack it. While it can bring a lot of fun to those who use it, a swimming pool can also be dangerous. Every year in Montreal and its surrounding areas, throughout the province of Quebec and across Canada, people drown needlessly and children are at the greatest risk. In addition, for every child that drowns, there are up to 4 nonfatal accidents that are serious enough to require hospitalization. Here are a few tips to protect your children from the hazards associated with a swimming pool.
- Install a Fence: A backyard pool should be completely surrounded by a swimming pool fence. The gate should be self-closing and self-latching/self-locking. The latch or lock should be out of the child’s reach. Consult our pool fencing guidelines to learn more about the general requirements.
- Install an Alarm: The doors leading to the pool area should be protected with alarms that sound when they are opened. A pool alarm which sounds when something hits the water should be installed and you should be able to hear from inside your home. In addition, pool alarms worn by toddlers that sound off when they are immersed in water.
- Implement Rules: Create a list of home swimming pool rules that everyone must follow.
- Teach Children To Swim: Teaching a child to swim as soon as they can crawl is only one preventative measure, but alone will not eliminate the risk. Children are easily distracted and can be disoriented if they fall into the pool, rendering the ability to swim virtually useless. However, as children age, the ability to swim with protect them with greater return.
- Never leave children by the pool unattended: This is the most important measure of all. Adult supervision is the leading way to prevent unwanted swimming pool accidents.
It is crucial to understand that swimming pool safety isn’t one quick fix, but rather layers of preventative measures. Each measure, a fence, an alarm, swimming lessons and supervision, alone are not enough. However, combined will lead to a safe and fun season by the pool!