Children ages 1 – 4 are the most susceptible to fatal drowning incidents. Children this age have a natural curiosity; they like to explore, climb and learn about the world around them, which is why it is so important to have layers of protection, like barriers, covers and alarms around your pool or spa. These layers of protection can be lifesaving devices for curious kids.
Homeowners who have residential pools should consider implementing the following:
- Install a non-climbable fence that is at least four feet in height and surrounds the pool or spa on all sides
- Ensure the pool or spa is only accessible via a self-closing, self-latching gate
- Children should be taught to never try to climb over the gate or fence
- Install an alarm on any doors that lead from the house to the pool area
- Keep pool and spa covers in working order, and always keep pools and spas covered when they are not in use
Specific details on barriers can be found in our brochure: Safety Barrier Guidelines for Residential Pools.
Pool Safely partner Nadina Riggsbee, founder and president of the Drowning Prevention Foundation, knows first-hand the life-saving impact barriers can have on drowning prevention. Since losing a child in a drowning incident, Nadina has worked tirelessly to ensure other families do not experience a similar tragedy. Through her personal efforts and her work with the Drowning Prevention Foundation, Nadina has educated thousands on the importance of safety barriers.
“Drowning is quick and silent. A child can drown in less than a few minutes, and there is usually no warning, such as screams or splashing. To help prevent drowning, parents/caregivers need to create barriers between the house and the pool/spa. To do this, isolate the pool from the house and yard area by surrounding it with a non-climbable fence that is at least four feet high and has a self-closing and self-latching gate. Install door and pool alarms and lock pool and spa covers. Most importantly, install several barriers to provide backup in case one fails.” – Nadina Riggsbee
Still have some questions on safety barriers? Check out all the resources below from Pool Safely and our partners on this topic.
- Pool Safely video on fencing
- Pool Safely video on pool and spa covers
- Pool Safely video on alarms
- NDPA: Layers of Protection Around Aquatic Environments to Prevent Child Drowning
- Pool Safely portable pool tip card
- Pool Safely PSA: No Second Chances
- Tips from the Drowning Prevention Foundation on barriers
Be sure to share this information with your family, friends and neighbors to ensure that everyone in your local community knows how to Pool Safely!