If you own a pool, installing a pool ladder is a great idea. This is especially true for anyone with an above-ground pool. Far too often, above-ground pool owners simply prop a chair next to the water for entering and exiting. Others just jump right in off the deck.
The truth is, it is important to install a dedicated pool ladder. However, in doing so, you will need to make sure your ladder is safe and secure. After all, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
(CPSA) states that in 2017, approximately 4,523 individuals were treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to pool equipment, including ladders. Additionally, there are a significant number of broken bones, lacerations and other ladder-related injuries reported at emergency rooms across the country.
Therefore, you need to choose a sturdy pool ladder for you and your family. It should also be correctly installed.
Choosing a Pool Ladder
Check Your Surroundings
The pool area is a major factor for the type of above-ground pool ladder you should purchase. For example, if you have a freestanding pool in the middle of your yard, you’ll need to consider your grass. Is it too tall? You’ll want the ladder to be sturdy, so you may need to embed it in the ground. Additionally, a freestanding pool will require two types of ladders: one for getting into the water and another inside that will help you to exit safely.
For pools connected to a deck, you may not need to worry about a ladder for getting into your pool. In these cases, you can step right in if you have stairs installed. That said, deck owners should still consider a pool ladder to help swimmers exit the water.
In both of these cases, the CPSA provides a set of voluntary safety standards
. These standards include the need for a physical barrier that can prevent children from swimming behind the ladder or accessing an above-ground pool from the outside.
Accessibility Options for Everyone
In most cases, an A-frame ladder will do for above-ground pools. This commonly shaped ladder is terrific… as long as the swimmer is limber and able-bodied. For people with different needs or abilities, it can be tricky to use a standard A-frame. There is likely a ladder that is better suited to their needs. So before choosing a pool ladder, consider your family and guests who may be utilizing the pool.
Railings Can Add Balance
No matter what pool ladder you choose, you’re aiming to make it easy for people to get into and out of the water. In this regard, adding a railing can be a huge help. Having something to hold onto lets people ease into the water. It also helps to prevent slips and falls.
Weights Improve Stability
In addition to railings, most ladders should be weighed down. If a pool ladder isn’t secure, it can feel unstable. A bag of sand will usually fix this issue. The extra weight can help to keep the ladder from bobbing and wobbling.
Stay Extra Secure with Multiple Layers of Protection
Now that we’ve shown you how a pool ladder can provide easy, safe access to the water, let’s go a bit further. As we often say, one solution cannot fix everything. It is critical that every pool owner use multiple layers of protection. Drowning accidents can happen to anyone at any time. To this end, every person who will have regular access to your pool, including caregivers and babysitters, should take swimming lessons
, no matter their age. Additionally, becoming certified in CPR
can save a life in the face of tragedy.
In addition to these layers of protection, we also recommend that people install a DIY pool fence. Though ladders make it easier to access the water during pool time, it should be inaccessible to children and pets at other times of the day. We’ve written extensively about pool fences, self-locking gates and alarms on this blog. This will help to protect your family from risk of drowning. For more information, take a look through our archives