BACKYARD POOL SAFETY
By Kirk Winter
Before my wife and I were cottage owners, we were pool owners. Our first house on Maple Crescent in Lindsay came with an oversized cement monster from the 1960s.
We thought long and hard about what to do with that pool. I am not a swimmer, and we had a young child at the time where a pool could have been a tragedy looking for a place to happen. After much discussion, we decided to fill in the deep end of the pool, and make the pool four feet deep from one end to the other.
Our pool contractor looked at us like we had lost our minds but he dutifully filled in that deep end, and we went from there enjoying that pool on long lazy summer days.
The Lifesaving Society cautions that, “to avoid danger – whether you are the owner of the pool or just visiting – the key is vigilant supervision of those in and around the pool. You need to establish pool rules so everyone can stay safe and have fun.”
The Society wants the public to know the following pool safety facts and they include:
Pools are the most common location for those under the age of five to drown
Drowning is fast and silent – not like in the movies. There is no splashing and no screaming
Most backyard pools are too shallow for safe diving
Every municipality has different by-laws regarding pool and appropriate fencing around that pool. Make sure you know what you are legally required to do before tragedy strikes
Since few backyard pools have lifeguards the Society also recommends the following backyard safety tips:
Appoint an adult to actively supervise any children in the pool at all times. You cannot read a book and supervise. Pay attention at all times
Keep children five and under within arm’s reach in and around the pool
Control and restrict access to water – a latching gate and four-sided fencing will prevent many accidents and unintended access to the pool
With a little bit of thought and effort, your use of the family pool can bring joy to all involved.