Preventing child drownings: How to plan for the unexpected

DOOR ALARMS

  • If the house forms one side of the barrier, then doors leading from the house to the pool should be protected with alarms that produce an audible sound when a door is unexpectedly opened.
  • Install an alarm that can be temporarily turned off by an adult for a single opening of the door by using a keypad or switch that is out of a child's reach.

Battery and electrically powered alarms are available. The key pad switch can be used by adults who wish to pass through the door without setting off the alarm. It should be placed high on all doors leading from the house to the pool. Affordable and easily installed alarms are available. An alarm signal immediately tells a parent that a door has been opened.

POWER SAFETY COVERS

  • Power safety covers over the pool may be used as an alternative to door alarms. A power safety cover should meet the requirements of the ASTM pool cover standard which addresses labeling requirements and performance. ASTM requires that a cover withstand the weight of two adults and a child to allow a rescue should an individual fall onto the cover. The standard also requires quick removal of water from the cover. A young child can drown in just inches of water.

A power safety cover is a motor powered barrier that can be placed over the water area. Motor-driven covers easily open and close over the pool. When the power safety cover is properly in place over the pool, it provides a high level of safety for children under 5 years old by inhibiting their access to the water.

ABOVE-GROUND POOLS

  • Steps and ladders leading from the ground to the pool should be secured and locked, or removed when the pool is not in use.
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