Everyone enjoys a day at the pool. And no one enjoys a day at the pool more than your kids. But most parents know there is more to think about than whether they have sunscreen on and towels. Accidents can happen anywhere, and pools are no exception. Accidents occur at pools more than you realize.
There are quite a few things parents and other adults can do to keep safe around the pool —regardless of whether you are at a public or private pool.
Install Pool Safety Fences
Georgia law requires property owners to enclose their pools with fences to prevent children from entering at any time unsupervised. Your fence must meet the following standards:
- They must be at least four feet tall.
- They cannot be more than four inches off the ground.
- Fences cannot have any design element that provides foot and hand holds for climbing.
- Gate holds cannot contain large openings.
In addition, to proper fencing, latches and locks must meet certain regulations as well. Assuming the fence is four feet tall, the latch must be at least that tall as well. And if the fence is taller than four feet, the latch must be within four inches of the top of the fence. And parents should be mindful if their pool, or the pool at the home your children are visiting, has an opening with 18 inches of the latch. This prevents children from squeezing through and unlocking it from the other side.
Post and Follow Pool Safety Signs
In addition to installing fencing to prevent children from entering pools without permission, pools (public pools in particular) must post warning signs warning of dangers and forbidding reckless behavior. Public pools in Georgia must have signs that state the following:
- A “No Diving” sign which must be visible where the water is five feet or less.
- If there is no lifeguard, there must be a sign stating “Warning—No Lifeguard on Duty.”
- A sign stating that “Children cannot use the pool without adult supervision.”
- A sign stating that “Running and rough playing are prohibited.”
- A sign stating that “Glass is not allowed in or around the pool.”
If you own a home with a pool, you may want to consider buying a pool safety sign that includes some of these same rules.
There are a few additional rules and signs which must be present if there is a diving board or slide. For example, if there is a diving board there must be a sign stating that only one diver is allowed on the board at one time. And if there is a slide, there must be a sign that warns children against running, standing, or jumping from the slide.
Note: Always remind your children of the rules when you are at a public pool or a friend’s house. Do not assume they will read and follow the rules on their own.
Install and Listen for Pool Alarms
Even with putting these safety measures in place, it is possible that children could get past them and ignore warnings. And, unfortunately, if something does go wrong, you likely will not hear someone drowning. But an alarm can help alert you to anything amiss. You can purchase alarms that notify you when any or all of the following occur:
- When anyone enters your backyard
- When someone opens the fence surrounding the pool
- When someone jumps in your pool
These alarms could help you prevent a tragedy.
Warn Parents and Children of Any Dangers
If you discovered a hazard with your pool, either place it off limits or warn parents and children of the hazard. For example, if you found out your diving board is loose, consider placing caution tape around it so any visitors know to stay away.
Always Supervise Your Children and Other Pool Visitors
This one might seem obvious, but always watch your children when they are in the pool, regardless of whether there is a lifeguard on duty or not. Do not assume that a lifeguard or another parent will see your child in time.
S. Burke Law: Your Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer
Making sure your backyard pool or the community pool meets the above regulations is the easy part of taking your kids for a swim. But accidents happen no matter how many preventative measures are made.
And in those cases, you will have some choices to consider. Once you have ensured your child has received necessary medical attention, you may want to consider hiring a personal injury attorney in Atlanta. Especially if your child was hurt at a public pool, and you believe another party might be liable for the pool accident.
S. Burke Law may be able to guide you through options and help you make the best decision for your family. And there is no commitment in calling us. Our consultations are always free, so get all the information you need. Call us at 404-842-7838.