Do any research on pool and swimming safety and you will run into the phrase “layers of protection.” Teaching your children to swim is one layer; the fence around the backyard is another; the alarm on the door to the pool deck is a third. The simple idea is that given the seriousness of the risk (drowning), the backyard pool is a hazard that you can’t cover too well. Everything that helps prevent the unintentional entry of a child into the water is a good idea.
I agree. But what if you had to pick one “layer?” You don’t, and you shouldn’t, but what if? Short of filling the pool with dirt, what is the best way to make sure children don’t enter the water when you’re not around?
To answer that question (at least for myself) I’ve taken a week long look at the statistics and stories relating to back yard drownings. I’ve talked to manufacturers of all sorts of alarms, locks, fences, barriers, and electronic monitoring systems and I’ve come to a conclusion: pool safety nets are my personal favorite “layer zero” to prevent drowning in unattended swimming pools.
The reason is as simple as the idea behind the nets themselves: Pool nets, unlike fences or alarms or locks, remove the water from the equation. Fences can be climbed – and the water is there. Locks work, but if you forget to latch it, or an older child opens the door, the water is there. Alarms make noise but do not prevent water entry in any way.
A properly installed pool net makes water entry impossible for small children.
Fully installed on an average sized pool at a total cost hovering around $1600 dollars, high quality pool safety nets are – in my opinion – the must have layer of protection for backyard pools and spas.
Below is a very good overview of pool safety nets by a company called KatchaKid. There are other manufacturers, of course, and I’ve never purchased a net – but I do like their hardware configuration more than most. After reading dozens of product reviews about a number of net manufacturers, I can tell you that this is who I would be calling*.
(PS – they make safety nets for ponds too – a really good idea.)
* Neither Katchakid or any of it’s dealers had any idea I was going to say this. This is not a paid endorsement of any kind, I just really like the product.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of the Department of Homeland Security or the U.S. Coast Guard.