In-ground Pools Are Safer Than Above Ground Pools
Pool safety is an issue that should concern all parents of young children. Even if there is no pool in your yard, there is one in a neighbor’s yard. Anyone who has ever owned a house with a pool knows what a magnet the pool can become for children. Responsible parents will want to consider how to ensure their child’s safety and pool owners will want mitigate their liability. There are several issues to be addressed in a discussion of pool safety.
Some features of an in-ground pool are safer than above ground pools can be. The high structure of an above ground pool offers an impediment to rescue. When a young child is in the pool an adult should always be within arm’s reach of him. This is a basic tenet of pool safety. This “hands-on” principal is the linchpin of drowning prevention. A child in an above ground pool can move quickly away from the edge when he is in distress. Even if the adult is standing next to the pool, they must climb over the edge to get in. This can take valuable time, depending on the height of the pool and the fitness of the adult. The in ground pool affords immediate entry into the water and also makes it much easier to maintain the “hands-on” distance from the child. Most anti-drowning experts recommend that, when a child is in the pool, the adult be in the pool with them. Drown-proofing lessons are another aspect of child pool safety that should be mandatory for the parents of little swimmers.
Restricting access to the pool is an essential aspect of pool safety and pool liability. While this should certainly not be the principal reason for keeping a safe pool, a lawsuit over a neighbor’s drowning could result in a bankrupting judgment. Fences and gates around an in-ground pool are safer than above ground pools’ flimsy railings can ever be. Most authorities and zoning regulations require that a fence around a pool be at least four feet high. This height requirement ignores the climbing abilities of most young children. A pool fence should really be at least six feet high. It should be either closely spaced bars or chain link. It should have a similar gate which is kept locked at all times, except when there are swimmers in the pool.