Baby Proof Your Pool

With much of the country sweltering in the midsummer heat it’s no surprise that kids of all ages are seeking solace in cool bodies of water. After all, there’s no better way to beat the heat on a blistering hot summer day than splashing around in a pool or pond. This is true for babies too.

Having a pool or pond on your own property is extremely convenient, but it is also a tremendous responsibility, especially if you have young children around. Studies show that having a fence, which completely surrounds your pool, hot tub or pond, is one of the best ways to protect your baby.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a fence is not only a worthy investment, but it also goes a long way toward preventing a baby from drowning. Unfortunately, not all fences measure up. In order to provide the most protection for your baby a fence should:

*Stand at least 4 feet high

*Should not be equipped with foot or handrails that children could climb on

*Have slats that are less than 4 inches apart, so babies can’t wiggle through the open spaces

*Have gates that are self-closing and self-latching, and the latch should be out your children’s reach

If you are installing a chain link fence, make sure it doesn’t have openings any larger than 1 3/4 inches.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), pool covers and alarms are not effective against drowning if you have babies or very small toddlers. Studies show that many young children are deceived into thinking that pool covers are safe to walk on and end up drowning as a result. The AAP strongly supports fencing as the best measure of protection.

Finally, no matter how responsible you think your older children are you should never allow babies to enter a pool without adult supervision.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.