No matter how shallow the water seems, swimming can be dangerous. This is especially true for younger or inexperienced swimmers. Keeping this in mind, let’s talk about clearly marking pool depth.
Swimming Out of Your Depth
According to the CDC
, swimming is a leading cause of death for kids under four. Beyond that, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury and death for children ages 1–14, after motor vehicle crashes.
Because of this, drowning should be taken very seriously. If you are installing a pool in your home or business, the depth should be clearly visible. At a glance, people should be able to see big numbers telling them where the water might be a bit too much for them. That’s where properly marking pool depth can help to save lives.
Understanding the Value of Marking Pool Depth
As with many aspects of water safety, there are some best practices when it comes to marking pool depth. To start, be sure to check your local regulations and standards. Some states, like New York
, offer strict guidelines for marking pool depth.
Using this as an example, New York State’s regulations for commercial swimming pools dictates strict rules for required safety equipment, pool rules signs, safety signs, and more. Now, these explicitly refer to commercial and public swimming pools… but there are lessons here that private pool owners should take to heart as well.
Basic Tips for Everyone
Above all, visibility is key. No matter how large or small your pool is, the depth should be clearly marked for visitors. If the water is too deep, parents or weak swimmers will appreciate being warned before stepping into the pool.
Ideally, the bottom slope should be labeled where it begins to deepen. This can be done with either an obvious marker or a safety float line. For legality and safety’s sake, again, check with your local regulations and recommendations.
No matter what, the general idea is to prevent surprise drowning danger. Staying vigilant about safety is everyone’s job, but pool safety begins with the pool owner. Properly marking pool depth can help to prevent people from finding themselves in trouble.
Beyond Marking Pool Depth
After marking pool depth, the safety mission is not complete. There are plenty of other precautions that can help to make the water area a bit safer.
For starters, install a pool fence. This fence should be at least four feet tall and able to withstand pushing, pulling and general wear and tear. The goal of these devices is to prevent little ones and inexperienced swimmers from falling into harm’s way when no one is around. Read more in our detailed article on pool fences
In addition, for above-ground pools and pools with stairs, it pays to install sturdy guard rails. Beyond this, the ladder should be properly fastened and provide an easy escape route in case of trouble.
Marking pool depth is just one facet of water safety. Together, these add up to greatly increase the peace of mind for everyone who takes a dip. This includes the pool owner!