Toddler Proofing Your Pool

Safety fence at swimming pool with child protection gate for drowning

A pool in the backyard can be the best investment you have ever made.   When you have a pool, it can be where the family comes together for years to come.  While your pool may be something you have always dreamed of, it can also become your worst nightmare when you have toddlers.  Toddlers are naturally curious, and most of them love water.  The combination can be catastrophic if you have not toddler-proofed your pool.  

Make Toddler Proofing Your Pool a Priority

Each year more than 250 children under the age of five drown in swimming pools.  Proper pool proofing would have stopped most of these drowning deaths. When toddler proofing your pool, you need to think in terms of layers.  If one form of protection fails, there should be another layer of protection to help keep your child from ending up in trouble. 

One of the best things you can do is alarm the doors that open out onto the pool.  These pool door alarms are very affordable and even easy to install.  When the door opens, you will have five to seven seconds to push a button, or an alarm will sound.  These alarms are a great way to keep track of anyone who enters the pool area, including your toddler, who will learn how to manipulate a doorknob faster than you could ever imagine! 

When toddler proofing your pool, you should also ensure a fence around the pool.  Many states have their specifications for the pool fencing, so you should check into this.  If your local area does not have laws regarding fences around pools, you will want to install a fence that is at least four feet high all the way around. It would be best if you also considered installing a self-closing gate, as this will keep a child out of the pool area should anyone forget to pull the gate closed behind them. 

When you have a fence, you need to keep all pool furniture inside of the fence.  If you keep the furniture outside of the fence the child can move it and use it as a ladder to get over the fence.  Our toddlers are nothing if not resourceful, and you can never underestimate their strength or ability to think in this manner!

Parental supervision is always the key to pool safety, but sometimes parental supervision fails. If you look away from your child, they could be running toward the pool in a flash.  This is why you need many layers of protection that will keep your child out of the pool even when they aren’t right in front of you.  Also, teach your child to respect the water from a very early age as this will help them understand that water is only fun when there are parents there to keep you safe.