Wintertime Pool Safety Tips

Did you know that pool safety incidents happen just as frequently in the winter as they do in the summer months? Unfortunately, serious tragedies can occur year-round. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to safety regardless of the season.

At AZ Pool Fence, we know that when it comes to winter, any pool, spa or body of water can still pose danger. Find here our roundup of advice to maintain vigilance and have a safe environment even in the offseason.

Toddler Years Pose Highest Risk
As naturally curious individuals, toddlers aged one to four are eager to explore their surroundings and engage with whatever they find. Pools and water in particular are shiny and alluring. Not to mention that water splashes make fun sounds and can enable things to float. This age group is at the greatest risk of drowning, so it is imperative to protect them from water hazards year round.

Did you know that drowning can occur in as little as an inch or two of water? After birth defects, drowning is the number one cause of deaths for children in this age group.

The Biggest Threat
When it comes to drownings, the biggest threat to families is unsupervised access to water. Be it swimming pools, a hot tub or spa, a bathtub or standing water in the home, close to 70% of drownings occur during non-swim times.

Creating Safe Layers
To lower the risk of water-related injuries or drownings, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using multiple layers of protection and barriers to prevent children from accessing water unsupervised.

To create safe layers, the AAP recommends the following:

Fence

A secure pool fence cuts risk by more than half for preventing young children from drowning. A proper pool fence should be at least four feet high, oftentimes higher based on local regulations, and be constructed in a way that leaves no more than four inches between fence slats.

The fence should completely wrap the pool and also include a self-closing and self-latching gate that opens away from the pool. This is to prevent a child from dragging a chair out to the fenceline and opening the gate. With the gate set to swing out from the pool, the child would still be denied entry even if they were able to reach the latch mechanism.

Most regulations stipulate that the gate latch must be at least 54 inches from the ground as well, which acts as another deterrent to access.

Pool fences should be kept locked at all times, and it is important to keep your pool and decking area clear of toys and clutter both to reduce the appeal of a child wanting access to a toy near a pool and to maintain a clean line of sight into the pool water.

Winter Nets

While your pool is out of action in the winter time, we recommend adding a safety net to prevent access to the water entirely.

Water Alarms

We are also big fans of alarms that go off in the event that a child or pet falls into your pool water. These types of alarms go off if a certain amount of water is displaced—thus, they don’t sound at every leaf or bug, but can alert you to a serious issue in time to prevent tragedy.

Remove Other Water Hazards

Although you might not consider them problematic, bird baths, water fountains, ponds and other backyard items including irrigation ditches or wells can pose threats. Exercise caution or remove hazards if possible.

Supervision Aids

To prevent children from going outside without supervision, we recommend using safety gates or door locks. In addition, door knob covers that prevent small hands from opening doors to your outside spaces can serve as another layer of protection.

Constant Supervision

Close, careful and constant adult supervision is the most important step you can take when children are near any type of water. Giving your undivided attention means not doing yardwork, playing with your phone or drinking alcohol. Constant supervision also includes staying at least one arm’s length away at all times.

Swim Lessons

Once your child is old enough, we recommend enrolling them in water safety and swim lessons to help reduce risk. If you are unsure where to begin, talk to your pediatrician as a resource.

Learn CPR

Investing in water survival skills training can serve as a last layer of defense helping you know how to respond when there is trouble. ALL inhabitants of a house should learn age-appropriate safe rescue techniques and eligible individuals should learn CPR to ensure the most knowledge on scene whenever possible.

Other Tips

Remember to inspect your pool equipment regularly, keep your decking safe and clear and check all locking mechanisms routinely. Winter is the time of year when complacency can encroach, and it’s imperative to stay alert and take care of your loved ones.

If you want to discuss any of these tips in further detail, don’t ever hesitate to reach out. We’ve made our business out of our life mission to prevent senseless tragedies around pools and love to share our passion about educating parents and individuals about pool safety layers.

Even though it’s winter, we know it’s important to protect your kids and pets around water, and that’s why we’re here as your one-stop shop for all things pool-related. From swimming pool fences to safety nets, wrought iron perimeter fences to glass fencing, there are a range of options available to support a safe swimming environment without detracting from your beautiful backyard space.

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