The sale of pools this year have sky rocketed. With public pools closed due to COVID-19, many families are purchasing portable above ground pools. These pools still come with pumps, filters, and even stairs. The difference is that they can be easily erected and then taken down for the winter. Over the years, these pools have become much more affordable, selling for as little $300.
Because they are temporary pools, homeowners often don’t take the same precautions as they would with permanent pools. This, herein, lies the danger. According to the CDC, drownings are the 5th leading cause of unintentional deaths. In fact, drowning incidents are on the rise this year due to increased pool usage. If you have a portable pool at your home, be aware of these above ground pool safety tips.
Install a Fence
Massachusetts law requires that a 4 foot fence be installed around pool areas. This applies to above ground pools with a side wall below 4 feet. For pools 4 feet or higher, a fence is not required but pool owners must remember to remove stairs when the pool is not in use. Click here to read the full language of the law from the Mass.gov website. There are specific guidelines for gates, spacing, etc. Unfortunately, most homes with portable pools do not have the proper fencing, creating a drowning hazard and increasing homeowner liability.
Keep Climbing Objects Away from Pools and Fencing
It’s not only important to install fencing around pools, but also to keep away objects that kids can use to climb that fence. This includes patio furniture and toys. For young children, it’s best to bring them inside and lock the doors if you are unable to stay outside with them.
Never Leave Kids Unattended
During these hot summer days, it’s common for kids to spend most of their day in the pool. Unfortunately, parents must often still work from home. Make sure an adult is always present when kids are in the pool. Even a short distraction to take a phone call or use the bathroom can be dangerous. It takes just seconds for a child to start drowning in a pool. If you need to step away for any reason and for any amount of time, have your kids leave the pool area. Use that as their snack time, to re-apply sunblock, etc.
With a quick online search, you can find many examples of kids drowning in pools while others are swimming near them. It happens much more often than you may think. It’s not enough for an adult to simply be present outdoors near a pool,… that adult must remain attentive. Every minute and every second matters in a drowning.
More Above Ground Pool Safety Tips
These are just a few essential above ground pool safety tips. There are many other things that you can do to keep your family safe, such as talking to your kids about pool rules and safety. Visit redcross.com for additional tips. Remember that as the owner of a pool, you have a responsibility to keep everyone safe. Being proactive and vigilant will ensure a fun summer in the pool.