Accidental drowning is the leading cause of death in kids aged one to four years in the United States today, so keeping your pool area safe should be a number one priority. Using the proper fencing and gate can go a long way to keeping your pool one of the safest on the block.
While you may think that any old fence will work around a pool, experts warn that you should use a fence that is hard to climb. Normal chain link fences offer tons of small handholds for little hands and feet and are easy to climb. The best fence for a pool is one that completely surrounds the whole area and one that is hard to climb. This is why we see so many skinny and shiny poles about 3″ apart in a lot of pool fencing. The straightness of the poles and the shiny aspect to them make them hard to climb. They’re too straight, there’s nothing to hold on to and they’re slippery to boot. For an extra deterrent, some people also opt to put spiky toppers on their poles. They look nice and they give that extra layer of safety as well.
No fence is a good fence unless it has a good gate attached to it. For a pool it is recommended that you use a gate that has a self closing and self latching feature. When you go through with your arms full of pool toys or chemicals, for example, you don’t have to put everything down to close the gate behind you. The gate will just shut itself. No worry, no hassle.
You of course have to make sure the gate is the same height as your fencing and that it too is near impossible to climb. Also, the latch should be high enough so that little kids can’t reach it and it should be difficult to get to, located on the inside of the gate. Another thing to think about is to have that pool gate swing to the outside, not inside towards the pool. If little hands do manage to get that gate open, they have a few extra seconds negotiating the gate and going around it before they get near the water. Those extra seconds could save a life.
Other things to consider is to keep that pool covered when not in use and to take all pool toys out of the gated fenced enclosure when not in the pool. Safe kids are happy kids!