Hot weather is on the way, which means it’s a good idea to go ahead and double-check the safety of your swimming pool. If you own a pool, make sure it has a fence that completely surrounds it. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that the pool fence:
- Not have anything alongside it (like lawn furniture) that can be used to climb up it.
- Be at least 4 feet high and have no footholds or handholds that could help a child climb it. Chain link fences are easy to climb and are not recommended as pool fences.
- Have no more than 4 inches between vertical slats.
- Have a self-closing, self-latching gate that is higher than a child can reach—54 inches from the bottom of the gate.
- Automatic pool covers, door alarms and pool alarms are not substitutes for adequate fencing.
Be aware that children have been known to climb out a window, crawl through a doggy-door or simply walk out an open door to get to a pool.
To avoid a tragedy, constantly supervise children when around a swimming pool. This is not the time to make a cell phone call or finish a chore. In the water, an adult should be within arm’s reach of infants and toddlers. The adult should know how to swim.
Be sure to remind grandparents and babysitters of your pool rules, too.