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Monday, June 20, 2011

Swimming Pool Safety

I figured since summer is here it would be a good time to post some swimming pool safety tips. Here are some tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):

If you have a swimming pool:

- Install a 4-sided isolation pool fence with a self-locking gate that completely separates the house and play area of the yard from the pool area.

- Remove toys from the pool and surrounding area immediately after use.

- The fence or other barrier should be at least four feet high or taller. It should have no footholds or handholds that could help a young child to climb it.

- Vertical fence slats should be less than four inches apart to prevent a child from squeezing through.

- If the fence is chain link, then no part of the diamond-shaped opening should be larger than 1-3/4 inches.

- The maximum clearance at the bottom of the barrier should not exceed four inches above grade.

- Fence gates should open out from the pool and should be self-closing and self-latching. The gate should be well maintained to close and latch easily. The latch should be out of a child’s reach.

- If a gate is properly designed, even if the gate is not completely latched, a young child pushing on the gate to enter the pool area will at least close the gate and may actually engage the latch.

- The release mechanism for the gate should be at least three inches below the top of the gate on the side facing the pool.

- The gate should have no opening greater than 1/2 inch within 18 inches of the latch release mechanism. This prevents a young child from reaching through the gate and releasing the latch.

The CPSC has a great pool safety web site that includes videos and other helpful information. Check it out here: http://www.poolsafely.gov

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