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Backyard Pool Safety

Backyard Pool SafetyWhen we began the search for our first home in 1992, it was with the condition that there be no swimming pool. That might not seem like a hard constraint to meet in most areas, but in south Florida it was. With two little girls in our family, I just didn’t feel comfortable with the risk presented by a pool.

When I was pregnant with Monica, our fourth daughter, we had two businesses being run from home. With less than 1,500 square feet in our Boca Raton home, it was definitely time to expand. But as soon as we began looking, the drowning nightmares began. A pool was still out of the question.

Now that our youngest is almost eight, and advancing nicely through his Red Cross swimming lessons, we are considering adding a pool to our backyard play area. It won’t happen for  a few more years, but as we plan the backyard, we have marked out the perfect spot.

No matter how old our kids are, you won’t find a pool in our yard without proper precautions. We haven’t researched any city regulations or safety information yet, but I have seen an array of pool fences, pool alarms, and safety pool covers. A good friend of ours has a motorized pool cover that completely seals the water in — and it’s strong enough for a car to drive on top of it. That’s a pool I can live with.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • SueBee July 19, 2011, 9:54 am

    I saw a commercial for that pool cover! It had a VW or something sitting on top. Pretty memorable. If it can hold a car, it can certainly hold a kid. Right?

  • Martinscove July 19, 2011, 10:49 am

    I can’t tell you how important pool safety is. I’ve seen the sad, sad results when it isn’t enforced. 🙁

  • Anna July 20, 2011, 3:40 am

    Sure when you have kids at home, a swimming pool can become a potential danger. But I know that some pools can have zones with different depth, very shallow for kids and separated from the adult’s area with the nets or something of the kind.

  • Alison Moore Smith July 20, 2011, 11:00 am

    SueBee, that’s my thinking. I was amazed as my kids ran back and forth across the cover. Very strong and no way for kids to get in on any edge.

    Martinscove, I’m so sorry for any tragedy you have experienced. Living in south Florida, drowning was the leading cause of death for kids — and they happened all the time.

    Anna, true, there are lots of safe ways to use a pool. In Florida, all year round there were drownings and near drownings. Very often the accidents occurred at a home where no kids lived. Grandma might be watching the kids for an afternoon, a friend is visiting with her kids, etc.

    Florida (and probably lost of other states) have “attractive nuisance” laws that cover such issues. Basically these laws note that some things (like pools) draw people to them and can harm them. So if you have pool in your backyard and it’s in any way accessible to neighbor children, you must have it fenced or otherwise secured so kids (even while trespassing!) can’t get into it.
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  • Duy Nguyen September 24, 2011, 8:55 pm

    I agree with you Alison. Safety first. It’s true for whatever we do, especially when it comes to our children!
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  • Mike January 11, 2012, 7:48 pm

    Living in Florida, it’s so critical to have a safety fence around your pool. This is the safest and best option to ensure kids don’t accidentally fall in the pool

  • JS May 31, 2012, 6:08 am

    Hi Alison,

    It’s indeed a difficult search finding a pool with sufficient security so it is save for your children. Have you ever considered a small(er) jacuzzi or spa? Covers are from hard materials so when not used they are not dangerous for the kids and as they are smaller and also not that deep it’s easier to use by younger kids.

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