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.