Swimming pools, like turf, are a great addition to your backyard to transform it into your spa retreat. There are around 10.4 million residential pools in the United States, and it’s no wonder why, with swimming being the fourth most popular sports activity in the United States.
Unfortunately, According to the World Health Organization, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in the world, with 372,000 drowning deaths reported annually. Every year in the United States there are an estimated 3,960 fatal unintentional drownings (that’s an average of 11 drowning deaths per day) and 8,080 nonfatal drownings (an average of 22 nonfatal drownings per day). 71% of fatal pool accidents occur at residential locations. Because of this, it’s important to take the proper safety precautions that come with owning a swimming pool.
If you’re looking for ways to make your pool safe and secure, or considering installing a pool as part of your backyard renovation, you should also consider installing artificial grass. In this post, we’ll help homeowners get a better understanding of how to make pools safer.
Tip 1: Surround the Pool with Turf
Most are familiar with turf for its use as an artificial grass on sports fields. Turf is used to help reduce athletic injuries on the playing field, why not use turf to reduce injuries by the pool? Pools and water features can be lined or surrounded with artificial turf to create a barrier that’s more comfortable to walk on, less slippery, and safer than a concrete border.
The idea of putting artificial grass on a pool deck may seem unusual to some, but there are actually a lot of good reasons one may one to put turf on their deck or around their pool. Here are some of the common reasons to put turf on your pool deck:
- Turf is safe – Surfaces around pools can get slippery. To combat this you can add texture to it, but that creates a rough surface that can cause abrasions to skin. The texture of turf reduces slipping, and it hurts less if you do fall down because turf is shock-absorbent and non-abrasive.
- Turf is low-maintenance – Pools require a lot of maintenance, and you don’t want to add something else that is tough to clean. Artificial turf is delightfully low-maintenance, stain resistant, and easy to clean.
- Turf is durable – Wood surfaces can fade, warp, splinter and crack; concrete surfaces can crack, crumble, sink, or rise; this prompts the need for expensive and labor-intensive maintenance, repairs, and replacement. Turf doesn’t have any of these problems, and can last for years when properly cared for.
- Turf is attractive – This is an easy one. Artificial turf is vibrant, green, and adds a nice “pop” to a landscape, and it’s versatile enough to put on a number of surfaces.
Tip 2: Always Supervise Children Near the Pool
Never let children be unsupervised by the pool. It almost goes without saying: Children are more likely to drown or suffer a swimming-related injury when they are in a pool unsupervised.
- Drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of 1 and 4.
- 67% of swimming pool drowning deaths involved children younger than 3 years old.
- For every child who dies from drowning, another eight receive emergency department care for nonfatal drowning.
- 47% of children who suffered swimming pool injuries did so at a residential swimming pool, and 74% of drowning deaths of children younger than 15 occurred at a swimming pool located at a private residence (home pool, neighbor’s pool).
But a swimming-related death or injury can also happen when there is supervision. According to reports, 77% of those involved in a home drowning accident had been missing for no more than five minutes when they were found in the swimming pool, and 70% weren’t expected to be in or near the pool at that time. Even portable pools are dangerous, with 9% of pediatric drowning deaths occurring in portable pools.
Tip 3: Surround the Pool with A Fence
One of the best ways to improve pool safety is to put a fence around the pool with a self-locking entrance. Make sure that the fence is secure so kids can’t climb or squeeze through by following these guidelines for safe pool barrier specifications:
- Be at least four feet high and have a self-closing gate with a latch above the reach of children.
- Supply no easy footholds or handholds for climbing.
- Keep furniture or other objects that can be used as a climbing aid away from the fence.
- All pool gates are self-closing, self-latching and locked.
- Maintain your gates to be in good working order.
A four-sided isolation fence that separates the pool area from the house and yard reduces a child’s risk of drowning by 83% compared to three-sided property-line fencing.
Tip 4: Use Alarms, Locks, and Safety Covers
When the pool is not in use, make sure it’s covered and closed off from access. Install a pool fence alarm and/or an underwater pool alarm that goes off whenever anyone enters the pool. As with your door alarm, make sure the pool alarm sounds distinct from all other noises in your home. Be sure you have remote alarm speakers so the pool alarm can be heard when you’re inside the house or otherwise away from the pool.
Tip 5: Never Leave Toys or Floats in the Pool
These cause a deadly temptation for toddlers who will try to reach the object in the pool. Lock up and deflate toys when they’re not being used.
Tip 6: Make Some Rules & Follow Them
Making rules with friends and family about pool usage is a great plan to improve safety. If you’re looking for some ideas, here’s a pretty good list:
- No phones, radios, or electronic devices near the pool
- Limited horseplay or roughhousing
- No running on the deck
- Everyone who wants to swim in the pool must know how to swim
- No riding toys, like bikes, trikes, or other vehicles around the pool
- Don’t allow bottles, toys, and other potential hazards near the pool area for people to trip on.
- No diving
Tip 7: Never Allow Alcohol Consumption Near the Pool
There’s a reason you see those “alcohol prohibited” signs outside both residential and public swimming pools. Statistically, alcohol is attributed as a factor in as many as 70 % of all water recreation injuries and deaths. If someone has been drinking alcohol, don’t let them swim in the pool.
Tip 8: Maintain a Clean & Safe Pool
There’s more to owning a pool than just good rules. Owning a pool makes you responsible for alleviating other concerns, including mechanical and chemical risks.
- Maintain a clean pool. A dirty pool can cause sickness and infection. Not to mention the fact that no one will want to swim in it.
- Make sure that regular maintenance is occurring, and things like pool suction fittings and plumbing grates are secure.
- Label and securely store chemicals away from kids and pets.
- Inspect your pool periodically for signs of wear and tear. Look for rips in the liner and other damage from inside the pool (damage may not be noticeable at the top of the liner and the water will distort your view).
- If you have an above ground pool, check metal supports for rust and deterioration.
- Make sure your pool has anti-entrapment safety drain covers. The powerful suction from some drains can easily trap children, or even adults.
- Keep children away from pool filters, drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapment accidents.
Tip 9: Keep Lifesaving Equipment Near the Pool
A part of owning a pool includes owning the equipment to keep it safe. Hopefully you’ll never have to use them, but in the event you need them, you will be glad you had them.
- Throwing rope with rings
- Reaching pole
- Rescue hook
- First aid kit
Make sure all first aid and rescue equipment is readily accessible.
Turf for a Safe Pool
Turf can not only make a pool more safe and comfortable, it can increase your property value, and help sell a home fast. Synthetic turf is the drought-tolerant natural grass lawn alternative that’s versatile and durable enough for your roof, gym, pets, or kids playground.
Turf Factory Direct offers the highest quality turf at great prices for any project, whether it’s for your pool, lawn, wood deck, concrete patio, or balcony. Get in touch with us or check out our turf resources to learn more.