Tips for Keeping Your Backyard Pool Safe!
Backyard pools can provide hours of fun and relaxation for the entire family. However, as you may realize, owning a pool also creates the potential for serious accidents. Pool accidents, unfortunately, happen more often than most people realize. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the No. 2 cause of death for children age 1 to 14 and the sixth-leading cause of unintentional death for people of all ages.
Securing Your Pool Perimeter with a Safety Barrier
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends pool owners follow these safety barrier guidelines for residential pools. Here are some of the most important features to remember:
Surround the pool with fencing on all four sides.
Fences should be 4 feet tall or higher.
Fences should not have hand or footholds that make it possible to climb.
Fences should not have vertical parts that exceed four inches from one another (so your child can’t squeeze through an opening in the gate).
Fence clearance should be no more than 4 inches above pavement or 2 inches if the fence is on grass or gravel.
Make sure your fence has a self-closing door or self-latching lock that can’t be reached by small children.
Install door alarms on all house doors leading to the pool area.
Never Swim Alone
No matter your age, it is best to practice the buddy system. Young or old, anyone could have a swimming accident. Accidentally tripping or falling into a pool or cramping up while doing laps can happen to anyone at any time. Also, most importantly, children must never be left alone in or near a pool or spa. Designate a responsible adult as a “water watcher” who can keep an active eye on kids as they swim or play in and around pools.
Practice Pool Safety!
Here are additional tips to help make your backyard pool area less of a hazard:
Consider alarms to notify you if someone enters the pool area.
Remove toys from the pool and deck, so children aren't tempted to enter the area without supervision.
Teach young children to swim. However, this does not eliminate the need for adult supervision.
Do not use flotation devices as substitutes for supervision.
For above-ground pools, take away steps and ladders leading from the ground to the pool when the pool isn't being used.
Making Sure You Are Protected - How Much Coverage Do You Need?
In addition to pool safety, you should also make sure your insurance policy provides the right amount of liability protection. A home insurance policy typically carries $250,000 to $300,000 in liability protection, says Loretta Worters, Vice President of the Insurance Information Institute. If you have a pool, you may want to boost your liability protection to as much as $1 million under what's known as an umbrella policy. "It's well worth the price to protect you," she says.
Our team at Mapp, Mapp, & Klein is available to help you with any questions you have about personal injuries sustained as a result of a pool accident or liability questions. Feel free to call us at 757-787-8900 for a free consultation!
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Insurance Information Institute
Blue Haven Pools