Why a pool fence? This might also be substituted by the words, why do we do what we do?
Drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death for children ages 1-4 years old, and multiple layers of protection are the solution.
A pool fence is a crucial element to what we call Layers of Protection when it comes to keeping children safe from accidental drowning. While adult supervision and high door locks are also a must, the purpose of a pool fence is to ISOLATE the pool and all access points so the child cannot enter the pool. The pool fence should remain up at all times, when the pool is in use and when it isn’t.
You need a pool fence, even if you don’t have children of your own. Even if you do not have young children, having a swimming pool at home creates a drowning risk. Children are naturally curious and love a pool. Protect yourself from the risk of a child finding their way into your pool with a pool fence. A perimeter fence or a screen enclosure with high door locks are also layers of protection.
You need a pool fence, even if your child is never unsupervised. Sadly, the majority of child drowning accidents occur while both parents were responsible for supervision. And, most children were seen less than 5 minutes before being found in the pool. The truth is, drowning is quick and quiet and occurs while the children are at home with the parents and caregivers who love them.
You need a pool fence, even if your child can swim. There is a great difference between your young child swimming with you at arm’s length or swimming during their lesson and falling into the pool unsupervised. Children age 1-4 cannot tell the difference between the deep end and the shallow end, nor can they understand their own skill level. All children are at risk, even if they can swim. The fact remains that accidental drowning in your home’s pool is 100 times more likely to kill a child than a firearm.
OK OK, I need a pool fence, even if you could just fence off your lanai. We understand that a barrier across the lanai, which isolates the home from the pool may seem like an adequate way to fence the pool. It certainly is less expensive.
Yes, it’s less work, fewer holes, less fence, less money and then you can still access your pool from your yard or screen doors. What? You can access your pool from your yard and screen doors? I’m just going to let that rest with you for a moment. How many times have you turned around to see your child on the kitchen counter to reach a cookie, up a flight of stairs or even outside your front door? Heck, I found my kid in the car, in the driver’s seat, with the key in the ignition, with the car cranked and running!!
Your kids are smart, they’re crafty, they’re creative, they are DRIVEN and they are freakishly strong! They know what they want and they will figure out ways to get what they want. So, if your kid wants to explore or wants to get their pool floaty or toy or wants to swim, they will try to make that happen. Fencing around the pool completely is the only way to isolate the pool. We are fencing to isolate the pool from the child, not the house from the pool.
The pool has to be isolated as its own entity, because it is the pool that puts your child at risk for accidental drowning.
You need a pool fence even if your pool has an alarm. We love that parents are investing in pool alarms and this is a very important layer of protection. Let’s talk more about pool alarms.
Generally, there are alarms that tell you the surface of the pool has changed. Ideally, when someone or something enters your pool, it creates ripples in the water that are registered on the alarm. However, with the sun deck areas and the gradual beach access type pools this may reduce the ripples created on entry. One pool alarm of this type has specs which state that an 18-pound child who falls into the pool will sound the alarm. That’s great, and we want you to have that. But, what about the child who sits on the step and then sits on the next step, and then the next until they can be all the way into the water without detection? By the way, even in the best scenario your pool alarm tells you your child is already in the pool. Thankfully there is an alarm, but we hate to think of you having to go through that stress or even to have to provide rescue care.
What about the alarms on the child!? We love an alarm to be worn directly by your child. These alarms monitor the child, not the water! Alarms can be worn around the wrist or ankle at all times while at home. They have a key and cannot be easily removed by the child. They will sound if your child comes in contact with water. So, they are great to let you know that your child is playing in the toilet, starting the bath, and getting into the shower with another family member AND if they are in the pool. But there we go. Your child is already in the pool.
So, yes, a pool alarm but as a layer of protection, not a substitute for a pool fence.
Yes, I need a pool fence but they are a lot of money.
We know a pool fence costs money and money is certainly very important, so let’s look at the cost of a pool fence. To fence around a pool which is inside a screened lanai, let’s say averages around 70 feet of pool fence. It can vary tremendously and we have done 25 feet of pool fence to completely isolate the pool. But, for today’s example let’s use larger numbers. We are also going to go ahead and throw in yourself closing and self-latching gate. So, for 70 feet of premium Life Saver Solid Core fencing and a beautiful arched self-closing, self-latching gate you will spend around $1685. Kids are expensive, we all know this! This is not money that just falls out of your wallet and you don’t notice. BTW, for this example, we used numbers that could very well be much MORE than you would actually spend, to make a point. So, let’s be fair and compare.
$150 a month for cable and internet is $1800 a year. A Smart phone with full service for two is $1800 a year. A new BBQ grill could easily cost the same amount, because you love to grill at home and want more of the outside kitchen set up to keep the house from heating up and cut down on cleaning pots and pans. I love that too! $1685 is around the average amount people spent on new smart TVs last year. Shoot, for a new bedroom set the stores will give you interest free, tiny payments forever and ever and ever.
I am not saying you shouldn’t be able to spend your money any way you want to or that you shouldn’t enjoy all of these great things. I would love to have a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy and if I ever get one it will probably cost me twice as much as your pool fence! I could get a bumper sticker that says, “My puppy is cuter than your pool fence.”
What I am saying is that even though a pool fence is an expense you may never have counted on when you moved into a home with a pool or when you decided to become a parent, it is something that is necessary now. And while I know full well that there are more fun things to spend your money on and those things may bring you more day to day enjoyment, I can only imagine that anyone who has ever had accidental drowning touch their lives would spend any amount of money to turn back time. I don’t want you to ever have to go through that, and I don’t want another child to drown, ever. Let’s figure out how to get a pool fence and keep your kids safe, even though it means you will have to spend some money.