Pre-teen and teenage years can be a struggle as your kids reach for increased independence and less supervision. The problem is, they may still need your guidance to stay safe. When there is a residential pool involved, parents should set firm rules and continue to be vigilant about supervising their older children.
According to a study done by Safe Kids Worldwide, as children grow older parents’ commitment to supervising pool activities dwindles. Parents’ behavior is drastically different when supervising a school-aged child versus a toddler. Although 93 percent of parents say it’s necessary to stay in visual contact doing nothing else at all times when supervising a 2-year old, only 80 percent of parents express this same necessity with a 6-year-old and only 42 percent with a 10-year-old.
Safe kids also reports that 69 percent of children who became victims in swimming pool accidents were not expected to be in or at the pool at the time. This emphasizes the need for clear rules about when kids can and can’t be in the pool area. Safe Kids recommends teaching children to swim beginning at age 4, and making sure children never swim alone.
Isolation fencing (enclosing the pool completely) is more effective than fencing that encloses the entire yard, because kids can’t enter the pool area directly from the house. Adding the proper gates and latches to isolation fencing creates one of the best pool barriers.