Kids and pools… one of the greatest combos since, well, you and your kids! Face it, without kids playing and splashing in it, your backyard swimming pool is just a massive hole with a thousand gallons of water in it. Backyard swimming pools are made to have frolicking children playing lively water games, getting sun-glistened cheeks, and giggling until the moon comes out. But is your pool as child friendly as it can be? When you were having it installed, did you put all the necessary … and not so necessary … elements into your pool to make it as free from danger, and yet full of fun, as it can be for your kids?
Naturally, you feel the most important job of your entire life is keeping your children safe. Nothing trumps kid safety. Everything else is just gravy. You’ve probably already incorporated many safety precautions into your backyard, but there may be more things you can do to make sure your kids are as safe as they can be in and around your backyard pool. Here are some safety tips for kids and pools.
• Make sure all depth changes in your pool are marked clearly. Never have unmarked changes to depth inside the pool, especially if you have children who are yet unable to swim. If your pool does not clearly indicate such depth changes, contact a pool construction company to revamp areas that don’t have these marked. If you’re just putting in a new pool, be sure these are included in the pool design.
• Today’s pool designs can include bright lighting that is fun and whimsical for kids. Make sure all lighting is bright enough to avoid hazards. Add enough lighting fixtures everywhere in your backyard, especially in and around the pool.
• Pools stairs are fine, but the truth is there are safer means for children to enter and exit pools. Try a beach entry that allows your kids to glide into the water easily and safely. A graded deck that progresses into a ramp makes it easier for kids to wade or slide into a pool softly.
• Include automatic pool covers into pool design and construction, as well as monitors for safety.
• Kids run in pool areas. You can tell them to slow down, but chances are they’re just going to run again in a minute or two. To prevent as much risk as possible, avoid adding slippery stones, rocks, and other unsteady elements that kids could easily slip on to your landscaping, decks, and other backyard areas. For the safest conditions, create an area outside the pool where kids are designated to go to dry themselves off and put on nonslip shoes (that aren’t flip-flops, as little ones can easily trip when walking in these).
• Here’s something that not many people think about, but is inevitable. Your children are probably going to want to bring Fido into the pool with them. Always make sure that dogs have easy access to your pool. The same beach entries and graded decks that will allow children easy access are also good safety precautions for dogs and other pets you allow into the pool. Even dogs who are excellent swimmers can drown in the pool when they can’t find their way out of it.
Now that you’ve incorporated all the necessary precautions into your pool design and construction, it’s time to add some of the things that make kids excited to play in the pool. Slides are a great addition to any pool, and they can be built to just about any specifications. The simple truth is that kids love sliding down slides, and they’ll never want to stop swimming if you add this great feature to your pool. It’s also another safety feature that can be better than steps. Other wonderful features than can heat up the fun and cool down the boring for kids in your backyard pool include waterfalls, fountains, jets with streaming arcs and shooting sprays, and all manner of playhouses and funhouses that keep children engaged in the pool for hours.
Your kids have been sitting in classes day in and day out, all year long, waiting for the second that overhead bell rings … telling them ‘school’s out! … so they can play in the pool. Summer vacation is a time for cannonballs, belly flops, Marco Polo, and sharks and mermaids. Make sure your pool’s as child-friendly as it can be. Check every precaution off your child safety list. Then load up your pool with as much entertaining kids’ stuff as your backyard allows! Contact a pool construction company in your Westchester County area for more information on what you can do to make your pool fun filled and free of hazards.