Early childhood and late adulthood are the two life stages wherein the risk of accidents is highest. This is mainly because both toddlers and seniors have increased vulnerability due to physical limitations. Thus, if you have a swimming pool in the backyard (and both a senior and a toddler living at home), here are the best ways to childproof and seniorproof your pool at the same time:
1. Apply a pool deck coating
Aside from building a durable decking system around your pool, it is also wise to seal the pool deck with a protective layer. This layer is meant to prevent cracks in the deck, which can easily injure someone if they happen to step on a sharp, cracked edge. If a senior or small child steps on it, they might lose their balance and cause further injury to themselves.
2. Build a fence
One of the best ways to keep small children (and even pets) out of the pool area is to build a fence around it. Check with your local building codes to find out the specifications you need for a pool fence. But in general, pool fences should be at least four feet tall with vertical slats no wider than four inches. The fence should also have a self-closing, self-latching gate that will prevent children from accessing the pool if an adult accidentally leaves the gate open.
A pool fence is also useful in protecting senile adults from wandering into the pool area and accidentally falling into the water. However, the fence would have to be at least five to six feet tall with a lockable gate. Also, climbing aids should be removed from the perimeter of the fence so that no one can climb over it.
3. Buy a pool cover
A pool cover prevents kids from going into the pool when they’re not supposed to and protects them from drowning if they accidentally fall into it. It also does the same for older adults who might no longer be strong enough to swim to the surface if they fall.
Keep the pool cover securely in place whenever no one is using it, and remove it when people are swimming to prevent anyone from getting trapped underneath.
4. Install alarm systems
Although alarms shouldn’t be used as the only protective measures around a pool, they are handy for keeping kids and seniors safe in case they go to the pool without supervision.
If the pool is accessed via a door or gate, install an alarm that will trigger if the entrance is opened. There are also several types of alerts that you can put in the pool itself, such as surface wave detection alarms, pool immersion alarms, and sub-surface detection alarms, which will trigger if someone gets in the pool.
Both small children and elderly adults have increased vulnerability to pool accidents, such as slipping, tripping on the deck, falling into the pool, and worst of all, drowning. Therefore, if you live with both children and seniors, help protect them from themselves by making these necessary precautions.