The weather outside is frightful, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be paying attention to your pool. Contrary to common wisdom, drowning danger doesn’t take a break during the colder months. Much to everyone’s dismay, pool drownings still happen in winter.
According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
, an average of 350 children under the age of five drown in pools each year nationwide. To make matters worse, children who drown in winter months are more likely to have serious injuries. These adverse outcomes may include brain damage or even death.
As you can imagine, water safety experts take this very seriously. While pool drownings still happen in winter, there are several steps you can take to keep your children and yourself out of harm’s way.
Start With Pool Maintenance
To begin, pools should be maintained for the winter. Now, if you live in a climate that has snowy, icy conditions in the winter months, you will have likely closed your pool by now. That’s good, but consider the quality and fit of the pool cover you have chosen. It should be strong enough to withstand a person, well, standing on top of it.
To this end, it should cover the entire pool area without gaps. When possible, clear excess debris off the top of the cover. If you have a hot tub, be sure to install a cover with a lock. This can help to keep curious uninvited guests from trying out the jacuzzi when no one is looking.
Additionally, make sure your filtration system and drains are up to code. To learn more, read our full blog about closing your pool during the colder weather
Install a Pool Fence
Since you’re here on a pool fence safety blog, it shouldn’t be surprising that we would recommend a pool fence. Installing a sturdy pool fence can significantly improve your water safety conditions. Investing in a pool fence is an excellent way to block small children from innocently entering, or accidentally falling into, the water. These fences keep kids and pets out of the pool area all year around while remaining visually appealing in your yard. Here is a detailed blog about the value of installing a sturdy mesh pool fence
Swimming Lessons are Important All Year
The next area of drowning prevention draws from swimming lessons. In a nutshell, these are important for everyone and available all year long. That’s good news, since the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that “lessons may actually reduce the risk in drowning for children aged 1-4 years old.” Take a look at the options for available lessons in your area. It is likely there is training for every person of every age in your home.
Pool Drownings Still Happen in Winter: Adding Extra Layers of Protection
Beyond lessons and pool fences, it is important to add extra layers of protection to your home. These should include a self-closing, self-latching gate
on your pool fence. The advantage of these gates is that you won’t always need to manually close it behind you; it will lock automatically. Additionally, add alarms on any windows or doors that provide access to the pool area. Finally, you can even add a submersion alarm to the water itself. Together, these loud alerts will warn any nearby adult of a potentially dangerous situation.