Much attention has been devoted to the dangers of suction drain entrapment since the passage of the federal Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act in 2007. The dangers of entrapment are significant, and anti-entrapment drain covers should be in place, but drowning presents an even greater risk as the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 5 in the U.S. Statistics from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Consumer Product Safety Commission show that hospital treatment for near-drowning is required for thousands of children each year. With the right steps, drowning is preventable.
Parents watch their children, especially during the toddler stages — but it’s impossible to watch them every second of every day, and a couple of seconds is all it takes for toddlers to come into harm’s way. There are times when a parent is distracted by cooking, doing laundry, checking email, taking a shower or other routine activities such as answering the phone or front door. Ultimately, kids are drawn to water like a magnet.
It’s vital to have layers of protection in place between your home and pool. Studies in areas where isolation fencing is mandatory, such as Western Australia, have proven that isolation fencing saves lives. Isolation fencing separates the pool from the home, either surrounding the pool or enclosing all doors leading from the home, to protect children who get out the door from moving beyond the patio. For above-ground pools, a smaller fence and gate surrounding the steps or ladder can prevent toddler access.
When a child gains unauthorized access to a pool and drowns or suffers permanent injury, it’s a terrible tragedy. It can also be a liability issue when the injured party is a visitor. You can improve the safety and security of your pool or spa with isolation fencing with self-closing, self-latching gate hardware by D&D Technologies.
“D&D’s MagnaLatch is the No. 1 selling child safety gate latch in the world,” says D&D Technologies’ Senior Vice President Jim Paterson. “Unlike common gravity latches, MagnaLatch has a built-in key lock, eliminating the need for a separate padlock. It won’t jam, is self-latching and vertically and horizontally adjustable. Our gate hardware is formed of super-strong engineering polymers with stainless steel components, so it won’t rust — ever. And it carries a limited lifetime warranty. With TruClose hinges, no external closing spring is required, and the homeowner can easily adjust the gate closing tension after installation with the twist of a screwdriver.”
Pool barrier codes require pool gates to be self-closing and self-latching, and to open away from the pool. D&D has two lockable MagnaLatch styles so the release can be mounted at the code-required height, typically 54 or 60 inches above the ground. Consult your building department for local regulations.
Pool safety advocacy groups like the National Drowning Prevention Alliance recommend several layers of protection to ensure that homeowners can experience the pleasures of swimming pools and feel an added degree of assurance that their children, grandchildren and visitors will be safe.
“We believe in promoting ‘The Safer 3,’ a program developed by the Swim for Life Foundation,” Paterson says. “This means safer water — including fencing and other safety devices such as alarms around the pool; safer kids — including adult supervision and swim skill attainment; and safer response — meaning adults should know CPR and rescue breathing, and a cordless phone should be kept poolside so that adults never have to leave the area to answer the phone while children are swimming.”
The National Drowning Prevention Alliance recommends that a “water watcher” be designated for safety when children are in the pool, to maintain eye-to-eye contact at all times. Toys or floating chlorine dispensers that look like toys should never be left in the pool area. Most people don’t realize that toddlers are top-heavy, so are at a higher risk of falling into water while reaching.
“With isolation fencing and ‘The Safer 3’ in place, your family can look forward to years of safe relaxation and enjoyment of your pool,” Paterson says.
Paterson notes that rust free gate hardware by D&D Technologies is now available through pool stores, fencing contractors and on-line, and many hardware and home improvement stores carry the company’s products under the Stanley or National Hardware brand. For more information, visit www.ddtechglobal.com or www.ndpa.org. For more information or a free “Pool Safety Kit” call (800) 716-0888, ext. 292 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Courtesy of ARAcontent