The Silent Killer: Dangers Lurking in Above Ground Pools

In the time it takes to pick up a phone call or sign for a package at the front door, your child could lose consciousness and suffer brain damage in a pool. According to the CDC, over 3,000 people die each year from unintentional drownings. One in five of these victims are children who are 14 years and younger.

There are hundreds of dangers lurking around above ground pools that homeowners and pool guests should always be aware of. Above ground pool sales have grown in recent years which has led to an increase in accidents involving children. Here are a list of the top safety precautions to take when planning to install an above ground pool system.

Ladders

A recent viral video by a concerned father raises a major ethical question on the efficiency of ladder locks in above ground pools. Keith Wyman said the family was in their backyard last week when they noticed that their 2-year-old son was scaling the wall of their locked gate that was covering the ladder in their pool. The cover was intended to avoid these types of accidents, but poor engineering and the child’s small feet enabled him to quickly crawl up the ladder.

Wyman explains that if a 2-year-old can easily do it—so can a 6 year old. According to the family, the store they purchased the ladder from said they can exchange it. However, many of the models are exactly the same. These pool ladder step-entry systems do not provide adequate protection. As you can see in the video, a child can easily maneuver up the locked ladder.

Leaks

Above ground swimming pool leaks are a danger to people, your property and children. According to pool repair experts, locating the leak can be often very hard to find and inherently damage your pool. Leaks seldom lessen in severity, so it’s important to resolve the issue right away. Major water damage from a pool leak can cause muddy and uneven ground and create foundational shifts in landscaping that can turn your backyard into a swap and insect-infested mess. This also increase the chances of someone slipping and falling. Always look out for leaks and make sure pool decks are dry.

Fences and Barrier Height

Portable and above ground pools vary in height and width, but even the shallowest of pools can cause a major risk to young children. The sad and unfortunate reality about drowning is that it only takes a few inches of standing water put a child’s life in danger and it is one of the leading causes of birth injuries across the nation. Philadelphia injury attorney, Sol Weiss, says that not having properly installed fencing surrounding your above ground pool is actually against the law in many states. According to Weiss, fences should be a minimum of 4 feet high if the body of water is at least 18 inches deep.

According to the U.S consumer Product Safety Commision, “Barriers are not child proof, but they provide layers of protection for a child when there is a lapse in adult supervision. Barriers give parents additional time to find a child before the unexpected can occur. Barriers include a fence or wall, door alarms for the house, and a power safety cover over the pool.” A successful pool fence and barrier should always prevent a child from going under, through or above it. Minimizing the size of openings in the barriers construction and maximizing the height of your fence are all measures that can be taken to secure your child’s safety.

Unleveled Pools

Unleveled pools can lead to serious injuries for both adults and children. When a foundational base for an above ground pool becomes unstable it can lead to serious trips and falls for someone entering or exiting the pool. Other risks include the pool falling over or tipping. Poor installation can lead to a pool collapse and cause serious injuries and damage to your property. Always have a professional install your pool to ensure all safety measures are in place.

Dirty Water

Dirty water can pose a serious threat to your little ones and all guests in your pool. Install proper chemical tests and clean your pool regularly to ensure there’s no harmful bacteria and disease floating in the water. Pool water can often be deceiving and seem cleaner than it actually is. Before swimming or allowing guests to enjoy your above ground pool make sure all measures are taken to test the quality of the water.

Pool Toys

Pool toys can surprisingly pose a major threat to your little ones. In many instances, having too many toys can make it difficult for adults to supervise a pool party and young swimmers can be harder to spot. A large pool toy can also be dangerous because it can obscure the pools bottom. A common misconception is that pool toys are safety flotation devices, however, “floaties” and “noodles” should not be used in place of life jackets and other personal flotation devices.

Additionally, pool toy storage is a crucial safety component, you should always keep them locked in a shed or safely stowed when not in use. Pool toys present the risk of capsizing or flipping, always keep a close eye on your little ones, tipping can lead to serious injuries and drowning.

All it takes is two minutes for a child to become unconscious and have permanent brain damage. Drowning is known as the silent killer, even incorporating all of these layers of protection can’t stop your child from trying to get in to your pool. Having a close eye on them at all times is the best precaution. Portable and above ground pools account for 10 percent of total fatalities for children younger than 15 and over 3 million non-fatal drownings every year. Extra measures can always be taken to ensure maximum safety at your pool. Installing a pool cover and an alarm system are additional safety measures that can be taken to prevent drownings and other serious injuries at your pool.

 

49 comments

Chad Anderson
Chad Andersonabout a month ago

Thank you.

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R2 months ago

Thank you for posting. Wish I had a pool right now!

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Ruth S
Ruth S2 months ago

Thanks.

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Danii P
Past Member 2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Danii P
Past Member 2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Danii P
Past Member 2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Cindy S
Cindy Smith2 months ago

sad

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Ruth S
Ruth S2 months ago

Thanks,

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Maria P
Maria P2 months ago

thanks for posting

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Christophe Bazin
Christophe Bazin2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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