Nassau County Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) is reminding all residents who own pools that just because the summer is over doesn’t mean that swimming pools still don’t pose a danger to children. Water that accumulates on top of a covered pool poses just as serious a threat of drowning.
“Closing a pool up for the winter can pose a whole new set of risks for parents and children,” Jacobs said. “It is vital that parents keep an eye on their kids, take steps to safeguard their pools, and remember that pool safety is a priority 12 months a year.”
There are, however, numerous ways and products to ensure that your children are safe around the pool. For above-ground pools, remove all ladders going into the pool, as well as anything near the pool that can be used as a step stool, such as chairs, benches or large toys.
For in-ground pools, safety covers are essential. Mesh covers allow water to drain through into the pool, while keeping any debris out. Keeping water off the top of the cover drastically reduces the risk of drowning should a child fall onto it. Nets that stretch across the surface of a pool can also be purchased.
Alarms can be installed to sense when a gate is opened or when the surface of the water in your pool is disturbed. A signal can be sent to a receiver in the house or the person carrying it to alert them of possible danger.
Most importantly, however, it is important to speak with your child and educate them on the dangers that swimming pools can pose. Make sure a young child knows never to approach the pool alone and after it’s been closed for the winter. By following these simple steps, you can ensure a safer backyard this winter.