How to make swimming pools safe

  • We have a 2 1/2 year old and a 1 year old and recently moved into a new home with an in-ground swimming pool. While this is exciting for us, we are terrified of our children being involved in a swimming pool tragedy. We have begun swim lessons to try to make her undnerstand how to get into and out of the pool and now we are looking into pool fencing. If you have a pool, what measures have you taken to insure safety?

  • I don't have a pool, but watch your children around them. RExplain to your children that it is not sage to go there without a parent. I used a swimming ring when taking my kid to the pool. Sorry I don't have more advice for you.

  • When we had our pool, my husband built a fence to enclose it on all sides. It's important to keep in mind that the fence shouldn't be made out of materials kids can climb and I believe the AAP recommends a height of at least four feet. We also had an auto-closure on the gate so that it could not be left open accidentally and the lock was at the top on the back side so it was out of the kid's reach.

    I think safety instruction is good but it's never a substitute for that physical barrier. And I think it's also very important that parents are trained in CPR. We were considering a pool alarm as well, but it was out of our budget at the time.

  • A friend of mine tried swim training with her daughter because she was so worried. They worked with her little girl for a few months and by the time she was 14 months old, she knew how to pull herself into a floating position in the water no matter how you put her in the water. It was amazing...they would dunk her in the water and she could flip around and get into a floating position....while it seemed extreme at the time, her little girl is extremely safe in the water now!

  • Here is a link to the article on Swim is a program designed to teach children how to "float" and save themselves should they accidentally fall into a pool. Even the Academy of Pediatrics approves swim lessons as a way to help a child become safer in the water. However, it is important to note that even with lessons and training, there is really no substitute for adult supervision and physical barriers such as gates, fences, and alarms.